Washington – House Republican Conference Chair and Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) issued the following statement after introducing H.R. 7162, the Expanding Markets for State-Inspected Meat Processors Act of 2020, legislation allowing state-inspected meat to be sold across state lines. Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Carol Miller (R-WV) are original co-sponsors of this legislation in the House of Representatives, and Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) introduced a similar bipartisan bill in the U.S. Senate.

“Wyoming’s livestock producers play an essential role in powering our state’s economy and providing high-quality food for American families. However, the economic slow-down caused by the spread of coronavirus has resulted in processing interruptions and decreases in the amount of meat getting to market, leading to shortages across the country. Allowing state-inspected meats to be sold across state lines empowers Wyoming’s producers to access new markets while supplying the increasing demand. This legislation will increase competition and offer more meat choices for American families.”

Upon the introduction of this legislation, Wyoming Stock Growers Association Executive Vice President Jim Magagna issued the following statement:

“The Wyoming Stock Growers Association thanks Congresswoman Cheney for introducing legislation allowing for interstate sales of state-inspected meat.  Wyoming, until recently, had no federally inspected processing facilities, putting our livestock producers at a clear disadvantage in being unable to process their beef in-state to meet consumer demand in neighboring states and beyond.  This discrimination against state-processed meat has no basis in food safety as our state inspection program is federally approved by the FSIS and must meet all of the same standards as  federal inspection.  The introduction of this bill culminates several years of effort by our organization and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture to secure equitable treatment for our state program.”

In addition, the Wyoming Farm Bureau also issued the following statement about the legislation: 

“Wyoming Farm Bureau supports allowing State inspected facilities to sell their products more broadly. Our members support the Food Freedom movement and the marketing of agricultural products directly to consumers, this is a great step towards that. A step that benefits local businesses, consumers and family farmers and ranchers simultaneously.”

BACKGROUND:

The text of the bill can be found here.

The Expanding Markets for State-Inspected Meat Processors Act of 2020, is legislation to allow meat products inspected by state Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs to be sold across state lines.

Current law prevents state inspected meat from being sold out-of-state. Presently, there are 27 states with inspection programs, Wyoming included, certified by the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), which meet or exceed federal inspection standards. However, products processed at these FSIS approved state MPI inspected facilities are not currently allowed to be sold across state lines. 

This legislation is supported by the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Wyoming Department of Agriculture, United States Cattlemen’s Association, R-CALF USA, the South Dakota Farm Bureau, the Maine Farm Bureau, the South Dakota Pork Producers, the South Dakota Meat Inspection Program Director, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, the South Dakota Stock Growers and the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association.