Hoeven Helps Introduce Bill to Allow Meat and Poultry Products to be Sold Across State Lines

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week joined Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Angus King (I-Maine) in introducing the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act. This legislation would allow meat and poultry products inspected by state Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs to be sold across state lines. At present, 29 states, including North Dakota, have inspection programs, certified by the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), which meet or exceed federal inspection standards. However, products processed at these FSIS-approved state MPI inspected facilities are not currently allowed to be sold across state lines.

“As part of our broader efforts to both improve market access for producers and help lower costs for consumers, our legislation would make a common-sense reform enabling North Dakota ranchers to market and sell their high-quality products across state lines utilizing inspection programs that already meet federal standards,” said Senator Hoeven, a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and lead Republican on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee.

“South Dakota producers raise some of the highest-quality meat and poultry in the world,” said Senator Rounds. “However, meat and poultry products are limited to markets within the state even though they are required to go through inspection at a state facility that meets or exceeds federal inspection standards. This is a disadvantage to producers and consumers alike. Our bipartisan bill would allow these high-quality products that pass federally-equivalent state inspection standards to be sold across state lines, which would open up new markets for our producers and give consumers more choices at the grocery store.”

“Currently, you could have delicious Maine-certified beef that’s butchered in Fryeburg but it can’t be sold ten miles down the road in Conway, New Hampshire,” said Senator King. “That makes no sense. If Maine farmers have proven the quality of their meat and poultry products under federally-approved state programs, they shouldn’t have to jump through extra hoops to expand into new markets. This legislation will reduce unnecessary barriers to support small businesses and increase the availability of high-quality products available to consumers. This is commonsense legislation that will support the Maine agriculture industry, open additional markets for Maine-based products, and provide more options at the grocery store — now that’s a win, win, win.”

In addition to Hoeven, Rounds and King, the bill was introduced by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and John Thune (R-S.D.). Click here for full bill text.