July 22, 1998




OAKLAND, CA -- Claiming it as an important part of the Clinton Administration's food safety effort, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman released a statement yesterday calling once again for additional legal authority and announcing that certain Congressmen from the House of Representatives have introduced legislation at the administration's request. The current regulatory authority allows inspectors to close a plant for repeat violations and recall meat if it is contaminated; USDA would like to the power to fine companies for the same activity. NMA opposes this legislation, because it is double jeopardy and will not improve the safety of meat in commerce.


"It is a mystery why the USDA wants to squander precious resources pursuing a policy that is neither useful nor necessary," commented NMA Executive Director Rosemary Mucklow. "The agency doesn't need more authority. Meat plants already face the ultimate economic threat of closure of the plant. Furthermore, the cooperative recall system works. Just look at the record."


National Meat Association is a non-profit trade association representing meat packers and processors, as well as equipment manufacturers and suppliers who provide services to the meat industry. The association, with over 600 members throughout the United States, includes membership in Canada, Australia and Mexico.