Washington, D.C. – Argentinean beef marketers can freely sell their product across state lines in the U.S., but Wyoming producers must jump through more federal hoops before they are allowed to do the same. U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is cosponsoring legislation that would end this domestic discrimination.
Enzi is an original cosponsor of S. 1150, the Agricultural Small Business Opportunity and Enhancement Act, that would ensure meat that has been state tested with the strictest federal standards could be sold across state lines.
"We already allow meat from foreign countries to be sold in our nation based on a promise that those nation’s standards are the same as ours. However, the law prevents Wyoming producers from selling their beef or lamb across state lines even when state standards mirror federal standards. This legislation irons out the language and helps put our small producers on equal footing with those in other nations," said Enzi. "I have been contacted by meat packers in Cody and cattle ranchers from Crow Heart to Cheyenne who support this effort. Allowing meat that is raised, processed, and inspected in Wyoming to leave the state gives producers access to new and value added markets."
The bill would open markets and expand economic opportunities for producers, according to Enzi. As the law is written now, meat and poultry products (beef, poultry, pork, lamb and goat) that are not federally inspected may only be sold within the borders of the state, even after passing a state inspection which is on par with federal inspection guidelines. Meat and poultry from some foreign countries is allowed to be freely shipped and sold anywhere in the United States.
The bill, S. 1150 introduced by Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, builds upon similar legislation Enzi co-sponsored in the 109th Congress and has been referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry for further consideration.