Nebraska Cattlemen voiced their concerns about the recent warning that budget sequestration could lead to a fifteen day furlough of Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) inspectors by sending a letter to United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Friday.
"Federal inspection is a vital component to the production of meat, poultry, and egg products," said Nebraska Cattlemen President, Dale Spencer of Burwell Nebraska. "Production would cease without inspection, thus limiting if not ceasing consumers access to nutritious foods. The most important public interest is the continuation of food safety underpinned by FSIS inspection," said Spencer.
Nebraska Cattlemen is encouraging livestock producers to contact USDA Secretary Vilsack and other elected officials about the issue and to voice their concerns about the importance of FSIS inspectors and their necessity in protecting life and health, and the role they play in the nation's food safety operations.
"We recognize that budgetary restrictions brought on by sequestration present challenges requiring USDA to prioritize resources. However, furloughing FSIS inspectors should not be among the considerations," said Spencer.