Vilsack says funding cut won’t compromise meat safety
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says a cut to USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service contained in the Obama administration’s 2015 budget proposal will not hamper the agency’s meat, poultry and egg inspection responsibilities. The proposed fiscal 2015 budget was slashed by $9.3 million from the 2014 enacted level to just more than $1 billion. According to Vilsack, new methods of poultry inspection will allow for cost savings without sacrificing the system’s effectiveness. “The bottom line is—we are not compromising safety here,” he says. Also included in the budget document is a proposal for a user fee for plants with sample failures or that require additional inspection due to non-compliance.