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Rounds, King Lead Bipartisan Legislation Allowing Local Meat and Poultry Products to be Sold Across State Lines

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Angus King (I-Maine) reintroduced the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act. This bipartisan legislation would allow meat and poultry products inspected by state Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs to be sold across state lines.

“South Dakota producers raise some of the highest-quality meat and poultry in the world,” said Rounds. “However, meat and poultry products are limited to markets within the state even though they are required to go through inspection at a state facility that meets or exceeds federal inspection standards. This is a disadvantage to producers and consumers alike. Our bipartisan bill would allow these high-quality products that pass federally-equivalent state inspection standards to be sold across state lines, which would open up new markets for our producers and give consumers more choices at the grocery store.”

“Currently, you could have delicious Maine-certified beef that’s butchered in Fryeburg but it can’t be sold ten miles down the road in Conway, New Hampshire,” said King. “That makes no sense. If Maine farmers have proven the quality of their meat and poultry products under federally-approved state programs, they shouldn’t have to jump through extra hoops to expand into new markets. This legislation will reduce unnecessary barriers to support small businesses and increase the availability of high-quality products available to consumers. This is commonsense legislation that will support the Maine agriculture industry, open additional markets for Maine-based products, and provide more options at the grocery store — now that’s a win, win, win.”

This legislation is endorsed by the South Dakota Farmers Union, South Dakota Stockgrowers, South Dakota Farm Bureau and R-CALF USA.

"The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association agrees with Senator Rounds,” said Doris Lauing, Executive Director of South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. “South Dakota raises exceptional beef and without this legislation, our producers will be limited in their sales. Consumers residing outside of our state are being penalized from purchasing our quality products.  We support Senator Rounds in his efforts."

“This long-needed bill recognizes that states are equally competent and qualified to ensure the safety and wholesomeness of meat produced from locally raised livestock,” said Bill Bullard CEO of R-CALF USA. “It helps alleviate the supply chain bottleneck, is good for livestock producers and consumers, and will provide out-of-state customers with more choices.”  

“This is an important issue to South Dakota livestock producers, and we appreciate Senator Rounds reintroducing this bill,” said Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union and a Conde crop and cattle producer. “This issue really boils down to the fact that in South Dakota we have more livestock than people. And South Dakota is home to excellent, local meat processing facilities and our state’s inspection service is as good, if not better than federal inspections. This bill would allow cattle producers to process meat locally and then access consumer markets outside of South Dakota. We all know what it was like to go through food shortages during the pandemic. This would allow us to provide our superior product to as many people as possible.”

Rounds and King were joined by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) in introducing this legislation.

Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Alex X. Mooney (R-W.Va.).

“I am proud to support the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act,” said Mooney. “High-quality products that pass rigorous inspection standards in states like West Virginia should be able to be sold across state lines without further inspection. This bill ensures safe, inspected, and high-quality meat can be provided to American consumers while opening new markets and providing more choices at the grocery store.”

Currently, there are 29 states with inspection programs, 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.

Rounds and King also introduced this legislation in the 115th, 116th and 117th sessions of Congress.

Click HERE for a one pager.

Click HERE for full bill text.