AMI urges Congress to reject user fees
The American Meat Institute joined more than 45 agriculture and food industry organizations in calling on Congress to reject the Obama Administration’s request for user fees as part of its Fiscal Year 2013 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget proposal.
The USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) budget summary includes the Administration’s intent to submit legislation which will establish these new user fees or taxes. The two proposed new taxes include:
- A user fee collected from plants for additional inspections and related activities made necessary due to the failure in performance by the covered establishment;
- A food safety services user fee that would recover a part of the cost of providing FSIS related services at covered establishments and plants, as determined by the Secretary and which would be based on the facility size.
“Meat, poultry and egg product inspection is a public health and safety program required by federal law and has been funded through tax dollars for over a century. Food safety inspection benefits everyone and therefore should be paid for through appropriated funds, which previous Congresses have agreed with,” stated the letter sent to members of the House and Senate.
“We urge Congress to continue to oppose proposals to assess new user fees, either in whole or in part, to fund federally mandated meat, poultry or egg product inspection. In this fragile economy, a new food safety tax could put jobs at risk and raise prices for consumers,” the letter concluded.