Bipartisan bill to permit interstate sale of inspected meats, poultry introduced by Rounds

U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) recently reintroduced a bipartisan bill to allow the interstate sale of state-inspected meats and poultry.

“Our bill would allow these high-quality products that pass state inspection standards to be sold across state lines,” Sen. Rounds said, “opening up new markets for our producers and giving consumers greater choice at the grocery store.”

Sen. Rounds on Jan. 28 sponsored the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act, S. 107, with 10 cosponsors including U.S. Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT), Joe Manchin III (D-WV), and Angus King (I-ME). Sen. Rounds and several of his colleagues previously introduced the measure in the 115th and 116th sessions of Congress.

According to the senator’s office, 27 states right now have inspection programs certified by the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) that meet or exceed federal inspection standards. However, products processed at these FSIS-approved state-inspected facilities are not allowed to be sold across state lines.

“South Dakota farmers and ranchers produce some of the highest-quality meat in the nation,” said Sen. 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,” he added.

The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, the South Dakota Farm Bureau, the South Dakota Pork Producers, the South Dakota Meat Inspection Program Director, and the South Dakota Stockgrowers endorsed S. 107, which has been referred for consideration to the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee.