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Meat and Egg Inspections Are in Danger, Thanks to Sequester

Meat and Egg Inspections Are in Danger, Thanks to Sequester

Big news in the meat world hit this week. In a nutshell, if the USDA follows through with possible budget cuts, there will be no meat inspections taking place for two weeks. This pause on inspections could lead to a major meat and egg shortage across the country. reported on Thursday that unless Congress can find another solution to their severe spending cuts, a forced furlough will be placed on the Food Safety and Inspection Service. This means no inspectors will be working for 15 days – helping to get the budget back on track but making it impossible to get meat and eggs out to consumers.

It is illegal for federal establishments in the United States to sell meat, poultry or eggs and egg products unless they’ve been inspected. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack wrote a letter to the American Meat Institute (AMI) stating that the furloughs would be a last possible option and wrote that the USDA would have “no choice” if Congress went through with their mandatory budget cuts.

This furlough would lead to many side effects, including loss of production, wages and money. The National Chicken Council wrote a letter to Secretary Vilsack explaining how these possible two weeks of furlough could lead to the first time America has witnessed a widespread meat, poultry and egg shortage in generations.

The meat industry has not taken this news without a fight, according to They have argued the point that the USDA is legally obligated to provide Food Safety and Inspection Service inspectors. The law states plants cannot operate without such inspectors and therefore the industry heads have advised the USDA to furlough other employees to meet the budget demands.

The meat industry isn’t alone in this battle, as it appears the grocery and restaurant industries are joining them as they fight this possible furlough and meat shortage. The 15 days will cost so many so much if the USDA goes through with their proposal.

I guess it’s time to try out a vegan lifestyle! Here are a few dishes to get you started.


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Read more: Food, News & Issues, , , ,

Written by Lacy J. Hansen for

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4:59PM PST on Mar 2, 2013

Unfortunately it is not just the inspectors in danger, but all of America. There has to be a compromise. Most of us are willing to give up something. Why can't those with the most do the same?

5:22PM PST on Feb 27, 2013


11:50AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

Thanks for the info.

8:08PM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Joseph, I'm well aware of how many animals ARE subject to being inspected prior to slaughter, and yes, of COURSE, well they should be! However, as I said, I do NOT purchase from such sites, and the products I do purchase have been already purchased in sufficient quantities to last me for months, and what poultry and dairy I buy is from local sources........neighbors who are NOT subject to being inspected. When the day comes that my neighbor can't sell me a dozen eggs from her own hens, that will be the day I move to Neverland.

1:49PM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Diane L.,
We slaughter 1 trillion head of poultry a year. At present, all those which make it to market have been inspected by a USDA Inspector. And if you think a two week furlough will not affect the price, the quality, and the availability of poultry products....well, I guess you will find out.

4:12AM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Not living in the U.S. this has little effect on me but I do buy organic and non-factory farm.

No, I won't go vegan...ever. Don't want to end up so judgemental as Yvette T with her comment of: "True human beings do not eat animals or their eggs to begin with." True human beings? Since vegans only comprise a tiny fraction of the world's populace the majority of we 'pretend human beings' do eat eggs, meat and other items such as vegan no-no honey. (Bees are 'enslaved' in the vegan doctrine.) We are just as human and compassionate as you are.

3:56AM PST on Feb 20, 2013

I've consulted on more than 150 projects that delivered 25%-30% increases in productivity in 9 to 12 weeks. If they start now they shouldn't have any problems (I wonder why they didn't start a year ago, there would be no disaster in waiting).

2:46AM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

2:09AM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Good information

7:30PM PST on Feb 19, 2013


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