What’s the Background?

Current federal law requires that all meat products produced in the United States and offered for sale in interstate commerce are subject to inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), or, in some cases, fully equivalent state programs to apply USDA seals of inspection. Currently, 27 states have state inspection programs that are fully equivalent to FSIS and allow for the intrastate sale of meat products. The Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption, or PRIME, Act would remove the federal requirement for states to have an inspection program at least equal to that of FSIS for products offered in intrastate commerce; states would even have the option to waive inspection requirements for meat produced and sold within the state, whether to individuals, restaurants or grocery stores.

Why Does It Matter to Our Producers?

A robust and consistent U.S. meat inspection system is critical to ensuring food safety, maintaining consumer confidence and safeguarding animal health. Currently, this is achieved by requiring that FSIS or a fully equivalent state program provide ante- and post-mortem inspection of all meat products produced and sold commercially in the United States. The PRIME Act would allow states to modify their laws to allow for the intrastate sale of non-inspected meat products.

What is NPPC’s Position?

NPPC is opposed to the PRIME Act because it would allow for the commercial sale of non-inspected meat products. USDA’s FSIS or fully equivalent state inspection systems are essential partners, along with producers, packers and processors, in delivering safe meat products that consumers can enjoy with confidence. Federal and state inspection programs also are a key component in protecting animal health by ensuring that every animal offered for commercial slaughter is inspected for signs of disease, in particular foreign animal diseases that pose a significant threat to the viability of American agriculture.