Seeing that meat, poultry and egg inspection protects public health and safety and benefits all US consumers, the letter argued the inspection should be paid for through appropriated funds.
User fees for mandated meat inspection services have long been opposed by AMI, which charges the fees ultimately will be passed onto consumers as higher meat, poultry and egg prices.
“In reality, these fees represent a food-safety tax on consumers and not just a fee on processors,” the groups stated. “The proposed tax will make the current equitable funding mechanism inherently regressive, since low and middle-income families spend a higher portion of their income on food than do wealthier Americans. Furthermore, this proposal to transform government-funded food safety inspection provides less accountability for the government to manage program costs, results and efficiencies.”
Their letter concluded by urging Congress to continue opposing proposals to assess new user fees to partially or wholly fund federally mandated meat, poultry or egg product inspection.