Sunday, October 01, 2006

Brownfield Ag News: "USDA IG blasts FSIS oversight of state meat inspection"

Peter Shinn of Brownfield Ag News describes the report Friday from USDA's Inspector General (.pdf):

The USDA Inspector General this week issued a scathing report on Food Safety and Inspection Service oversight of state meat inspection programs, finding FSIS decisions that state programs are equal to the federal meat inspection program “may be inappropriate.” 28 states have their own meat inspection programs, and according to the IG, FSIS has conducted on-site inspections in just eight of those states since the Agency wrote new oversight rules in 2003.

Moreover, the IG found FSIS approved state meat inspection systems, even when the FSIS on-site inspection of those systems found serious discrepancies....

The IG report comes amid widespread support among farm groups and lawmakers for ending restrictions on state-inspected packing plants, restrictions that currently prevent them from selling their products across state lines.