Senators want restrictions eased for small and mid-sized processors
A bipartisan group of Senators has joined a group of Congressmen urging the USDA to ease restrictions on small and mid-sized meat processing operations.
The Senators claim a diversified food supply chain would prevent a breakdown in the supply chain that the industry experienced earlier this year when processing facilities were forced to shut down or slow production due to COVID-19 outbreaks among employees.
The group’s letter to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue echoed the sentiments of a letter sent earlier this month by Congressman Jim Jordan and other members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law that asked the agency to change regulations making it difficult for small processors to be competitive in the industry. The letter also asked the USDA to consider four areas of regulatory and programmatic reform which included Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Plans, Meat Label Submission and Approval Process, Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program, and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service Overtime Requirements.
The letter was signed by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Doug Jones (D-AL), Michael Enzi (R-WY), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Steve Daines (R-MT).