Tester’s Bipartisan Bill Aims to Cut Red Tape, Expand Access to Interstate Markets for Montana Ranchers
Senator’s New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act would open interstate sale of meat processed at state facilities, provide certainty for producers
U.S. Senator Jon Tester is reintroducing his bipartisan bill to cut red tape and allow the interstate trade of meat processed at Montana state-inspected facilities today as part of his Rancher Relief Plan to help Montana producers get back on their feet following the coronavirus crisis.
Tester's New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act would allow meat and poultry products inspected by Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) approved state Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs to be sold across state lines, giving Montana ranchers better use of state facilities to sell their product, reducing backlogs and diversifying and providing stability to the cattle market.
"Montana's farmers and ranchers produce the best beef and poultry in the world, so it only makes sense that they should be able to sell their products to folks across state lines who want to buy it," Tester said. "This bill gives consumers more choices at the grocery store, and will open up access to new markets and revenue for Montana's hardworking farmers and ranchers."
State-inspected meat and poultry facilities are required by FSIS to be at least equal to federally inspected processing facilities. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 27 states currently operate MPI programs. Products inspected by state MPI programs are already sold for public consumption, however, they are restricted for sale within the state of inspection.
The New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act is a central plank in Tester's Rancher Relief Plan, which aims to provide certainty for Montana producers and give consumers more access to the products that feed our nation by opening new markets for Montana ranchers and increasing transparency in the marketplace.
The text of Tester's New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act is available HERE.