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Rounds, King Reintroduce Bill to Allow Local Meat and Poultry Products to be Sold Across State Lines

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Angus King (I-Maine), today reintroduced the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act. The bipartisan bill would allow meat and poultry products inspected by state Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs to be sold across state lines. Rounds and King introduced this legislation in the 115th Congress.

Currently, there are 27 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.

“South Dakota farmers and ranchers produce some of the highest-quality meat in the nation,” said Rounds. “However, currently cattle, sheep, swine and goat products are limited to markets within the state even though they are required to go through inspection at an FSIS-approved state facility. This makes no sense considering state inspection programs are required to be ‘at least equal to’ or better than federal state inspection standards. Our bill would allow these high-quality products that pass state inspection standards to be sold across state lines, opening up new markets for our producers and giving consumers greater choice at the grocery store.”

“It makes no sense that a local farmer should have to jump through extra hoops to widen their market reach, if they have already proven the quality of their product at a federally-approved state facility,” said King. “Maine farmers and producers who meet or exceed our high-quality state inspection standards for their meat and poultry should have the freedom to grow their businesses and expand across state lines. This legislation is commonsense, and gives our small businesses the ability to bring Maine-produced meat and poultry products to people throughout the country.”

This legislation is supported by the United States Cattlemen’s Association, the South Dakota Farm Bureau, the Maine Farm Bureau, the South Dakota Pork Producers, the South Dakota Meat Inspection Program Director, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, the South Dakota Stockgrowers and the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association.

Original cosponsors include U.S. Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and John Thune (R-S.D.).