USDA Possibly Removing Meat Inspectors

So today, after covering the canceling of meat inspectors even visiting foreign “approved” meat packing plants, Vilsack held a press conference regarding “sequestration” and putting 6,000 or more USDA meat inspectors on a two to three week furlough unless Congress does what Obama wants with this next fiscal cliff. After canceling meat inspections, which in reality were just once a year visits to plants in foreign countries giving them a once over and stamping them as USDA Approved for a year, they are now going to shut down US meat plants. Nice. That ought to make the economy just wonderful. When the USDA inspected plants do not have a USDA inspector on the floor, the plants are shut down.

Sounds like a great way to get all beef equine burgers into our markets post haste. Also sounds like a good way to bring about a food crises.

Here’s the article:

Sequestration = Possible Meat Inspector Cuts

Northern Ag Network posted on February 11, 2013 09:23 :: 137 Views

by Jerry Hagstrom, DTN Political Correspondent
LAS VEGAS (DTN) — Across-the-board federal budget cuts could force USDA to furlough up to 6,000 meat inspectors for up to two weeks, plunging the meat industry into chaos and raising consumer prices, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a speech to the National Biodiesel Board Thursday.
In wide-ranging comments after his speech on the sequestration and the prospects for a new farm bill, Vilsack said the sequestration — an across-the-board cut in government spending set to go into effect on March 1 if Congress does not change it — would require USDA’s Food and Safety and Inspection Service to “furlough over 6,000 food inspectors for two to three weeks.”
“As soon as you take an inspector off the floor, that plant shuts down,” Vilsack added, noting that removing inspectors even for a short period would affect several hundred thousand workers and would affect the supply of meat and eventually consumer prices.
A USDA spokeswoman said there are about 6,500 federal meat inspectors.
The sequestration, Vilsack said, “is horrible policy,” adding that the potential problem at FSIS “is just a tiny piece of my life.”
“It is really hard to manage the department,” Vilsack said, adding that sequestration will require that the cut be made in six months, which means it is essentially double the percentage required.
Some Republicans have proposed that cuts to the Defense Department should be avoided and the way to do it is to increase domestic cuts, which could make the problem at the Agriculture Department worse. The Obama administration has proposed delaying the cuts and including a tax increase.
Vilsack said he is worried Congress might decide the way to avoid sequestration deficit reduction is to “do away with the direct payments” that crop farmers get whether prices are high or low. The problem with that, he noted, is Congress has been planning to use the $4.9 billion in annual budget authority for the payments to write a new farm bill.
He praised Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., for reintroducing the farm bill the Senate passed last year, but said he believes the Senate Agriculture Committee will have to adjust that bill because it will not satisfy Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., the new ranking member.
Vilsack also said he expects House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and House Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., “to work their magic,” but that the dairy issue is still unresolved in the House.
He noted that dairy farmers want a program to support them when “milk and feed prices get to the point there is less than a $4 cushion between them,” but there has to be a mechanism that does not reward overproduction.
Vilsack noted that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the proposal last year “socialism” and said “somewhere they have got to figure out how to remove the volatility, create greater stability and not break the bank.”
Vilsack also told the biodiesel producers the farm bill needs a strong energy title and they should also form alliances to pass the “food, farm and jobs bill.” (from this link)
© Copyright 2013 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.
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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lifelibertylawyer
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 06:00:34

    Thanks for the info. What a mess this country is in.

    Reply

  2. Chris Swift
    Feb 16, 2013 @ 10:35:20

    In my opinion, the comments by Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, are a direct threat to every American out there. This taken from the above comments *** In wide-ranging comments after his speech on the sequestration and the prospects for a new farm bill, Vilsack said the sequestration — an across-the-board cut in government spending set to go into effect on March 1 if Congress does not change it — would require USDA’s Food and Safety and Inspection Service to “furlough over 6,000 food inspectors for two to three weeks.”
    “As soon as you take an inspector off the floor, that plant shuts down,” Vilsack added, noting that removing inspectors even for a short period would affect several hundred thousand workers and would affect the supply of meat and eventually consumer prices. *** In my opinion, he has single handed, told every American out there that the United States Government is willing to interfere with the private industry of food production in an attempt to gain a political agenda. Every restaurant, grocery store, would be out of product in less than one week. The frozen supplies would go in two weeks. Delivery trucks would stop, packing houses close, feedlots back up cattle to 1600lbs, feeder cattle weights would rise or worse, prices plummet in an attempt to rid yourself of something that now has literally no value as it can not be processed due to the inability of livestock to be USDA Federally Inspected! The lack of concern shown of these statements is outrageous. When considered, his threat would be more difficult to render than one may think. I would have to believe that Warren Buffet’s new stake in Heinz Ketchup would not want to be jeopardized with no hamburgers, buffalo wings, and every other protein product that ketchup goes on. Even if Tom Vilsack’s threats were just that, threats. He had no intention of really shutting down the food industry of America. However, is it not deplorable that he would have the audacity to believe he was empowered so, that he, and he alone, could halt the multibllion dollar food industry on a whim. What if he was dead serious? What if his intentions was to get this bill passed no matter what it took? Here is Webster’s definition of Tyranny : A government in which a single ruler is vested with absolute power.
    2. The office, authority, or jurisdiction of an absolute ruler.
    3. Absolute power, especially when exercised unjustly or cruelly: “I have sworn . . . eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man” (Thomas Jefferson).

    I may be absolutely wrong, and wish greatly to be corrected, but the definition of Tyranny, and the words spoken above by Tom Vilsack, appear to be a text book example of the definition.

    Reply

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