OAKLAND, CA, February 6, 1997 -- National Meat Association is opposed to the Clinton Administration's new Federal Food Tax initiative which is contained in the FY 98 budget proposal being delivered to the Congress today. The 1998 budget package contains almost a half billion dollars in new federal food taxes to be collected by food regulatory agencies. The Administration's proposal includes new annual meat and poultry taxes of $390 million to be collected by United States Department of Agriculture, plus approximately $60 million in other food taxes to be collected by the Food and Drug Administration.

National Meat Association is strenuously opposed to the proposed Federal Food Tax plan outlined in the Administration's budget proposal. NMA Executive Director Rosemary Mucklow said: "Once again, this is a cruel deception on the part of the Executive Branch. The statutory authority for the funding of food inspection has been clear for decades; it is a public benefit, and the concept of industry paying for food inspection services has always been unacceptable. Make no mistake, if these taxes are imposed, they will be passed on to consumers. Unfortunately, the tax burden will fall most heavily on those who can afford it least, Americans with growing families and the poor, since a higher proportion of their income is spent on food."

The Administration has initiated huge and welcome changes in inspection in the last two years but has failed to streamline the old and outmoded procedures previously used. With the new Federal Food Tax, consumers will end up paying for both what is new and what is obsolete.

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.

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Jeremy Russell
National Meat Association
(510) 763-1533
[email protected]

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