Twenty-eight food and agriculture groups, including the American Meat Institute, the National Pork Producers Council, the National Turkey Federation, the National Chicken Council and others sent a letter to Congress opposing USDA proposed "user fees" to pay for meat, poultry and egg inspections.

"These new food safety taxes will be charged directly to the meat, poultry and egg products sector, which will be forced to pass this additional cost onto tax-paying consumers," the group wrote. "This proposal to transform government-funded food safety inspection into an additional fee system provides less accountability for the government to manage program costs, results or efficiencies."

In the letter, the organizations pointed out that the food-safety tax proposal would also put meat, poultry and egg products at a competitive disadvantage in the domestic and international marketplace.

"We know of no farm or industry organization that supports imposing a tax to pay for meat, poultry and egg products inspection. We urge Congress to continue to oppose proposals to assess new user fees, either in whole or in part, to fund federally mandated meat, poultry or egg products inspection," the letter concluded.

To view the letter, follow this link (PDF format).

 Source: National Pork Producers Council,