Congress must remove federal barriers to the sale of meat

Daren Bakst

Coronavirus concerns have made trips to the grocery store stressful enough. Finding fewer choices and higher prices for meat and poultry only makes matters worse.

This shortage is a result of a bottleneck at meat-processing plants due to COVID-19-related worker illnesses and even deaths. While this bottleneck appears to be easing, these problems have put the meat supply system in the spotlight, especially the federal meat inspection system.

The current system creates barriers for the sale of meat by limiting the types of processing facilities whose meat can be sold across states lines (interstate commerce), and even within a state’s borders (intrastate commerce).

Specifically, only meat from federally-inspected facilities can be sold in interstate commerce. State-inspected meat, with limited exception, can only be sold in intrastate commerce. Making matters worse, 23 states don’t have state-inspected facilities.

Click here to read more of this Hill article by Daren Bakst.