A coalition of 45 agricultural organizations sent a letter to Congressional leaders stating their opposition to the administration’s proposed “user fees” for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) meat and poultry inspection activities.

The new user fees would be assessed on plants based on “sample failures” or activities due to “regulatory non-compliance.”

The coalition said, “Meat, poultry and egg product inspection is a public health and safety program required by federal law and has been funded through tax dollars for more than a century. 

Food safety inspection benefits everyone and therefore should continue to be paid for through Congressionally appropriated funds.”  USDA’s estimates the user fees would generate $4 million annually.  Previous Congresses have rejected this type of user fee.