Representative calls on Congress to pass farmer direct-marketing law to fight inflation

Measure would allow for more processing in smaller facilities.

Updated: April 2, 2022 - 2:21pm

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A Republican representative is calling on Congress to pass a proposal that would allow meat farmers to process their product through a variety of smaller facilities, a measure he says will help bring down spiraling food costs in the country.

Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie on Friday urged Congress on Twitter to “pass [the] bipartisan, bicameral PRIME Act so farmers can more easily sell directly to consumers!” 

“Farmers and consumers would both benefit greatly,” he argued. “This would be a great hedge against inflation.”

The Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption Act would, if passed, “amend the Federal Meat Inspection Act to exempt from inspection the slaughter of animals and the preparation of carcasses conducted at a custom slaughter facility,” so long as the meat being sold from such facilities remained within the state in which it was processed.

The bill was first introduced last year but stalled in committee in July.

Since the bill’s introduction, inflation has further hit nearly every sector of the U.S. economy, sending food prices—including meat—skyrocketing and leaving consumers struggling to afford many basic necessities. 

Introducing the bill in the Senate last summer, Utah Sen. Mike Lee said that current federal rules “create insurmountable economic barriers that keep local outfits from competing in the market.” 

“By removing some of those barriers, local meat processers can rejoin local markets, processing backlogs can be alleviated, and meat prices at the local grocery store can stabilize,” he argued.