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In a recent post we discussed the ruling currently under construction at the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) which would allow certain state-inspected slaughter plants to perform federal inspections on meat and poultry. The comment period has been extended, and we invite anyone who has an interest in this to add your two cents to the discussion (instructions below). This ruling could have tremendous implications for livestock farmers using independent, state-inspected plants who are now limited to selling product within state lines, and could dramatically expand their marketing capabilities. Cooperative inspection has the potential not only to benefit independent farmers and slaughter plants, but could have positive animal welfare implications through reduced transport time.
From the FSIS website:
FSIS is extending the comment period for an additional 30 days for its proposed rule to allow interstate shipment of meat and poultry products produced in selected state-inspected establishments. The proposed rule, Cooperative Inspection Programs; Interstate Shipment of Meat and Poultry Products, was published in the Federal Register on Sept. 16. FSIS is now allowing interested parties until Dec. 16 to prepare and submit comments for the proposed rule.
All submissions received must reference docket number FSIS-2008-0039. The proposed rule is posted on the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/2009_Proposed_Rules_Index/index.asp. [See “Cooperative Inspection Programs.”]
Comments may also be sent to the Docket Clerk, USDA, FSIS, Room 2-2127, George Washington Carver Center, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705. Submissions can also be made through the Federal e-rulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov.
The transcript and audio file for the Nov. 5 interstate shipment teleconference have been posted on the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/past_events/index.asp.