THE DAILY FED
No Merged Meat InspectionFrom CongressDaily
Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman yesterday told the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture he is unwilling to speed up plans to merge state and federal meat inspection so meat inspected by state agencies can be sold across state lines.
Glickman said he is "philosophically" in agreement with certifying states to inspect meat that would go into the interstate market, but that there is too much "frenetic activity" on the issue of food safety for him to do anything that might reduce public confidence in the food supply.
Sounding slightly annoyed, Glickman said, "I've read my history" about meat packing plants before federal regulation and added he has no indication so far that states are willing to put enough resources into inspection to justify the change.
Glickman said he would convene an official Agriculture Department meeting on the subject this summer, but warned it will include consumer groups as well as small meat packers.