The Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee Tuesday encouraged members of Oklahoma’s Congressional Delegation to co-sponsor and support legislation in the U.S. Senate that would replace an out-dated law that gives foreign interests an unfair advantage over Oklahoma meat and poultry producers.
A decades old federal law prohibits the state-inspected Oklahoma meat and poultry products from being sold in other states even though Oklahoma’s meat inspections meet or exceed United States Department of Agriculture standards. Meanwhile foreign meat and poultry products can be sold anywhere in the United States.
“It’s blatantly unfair that Oklahoma farmers and ranchers are not allowed to sell their quality meat and poultry products across state lines when foreign producers can sell their products anywhere in the U.S.,” said Senator Daisy Lawler, D-Comanche.
Lawler noted that Oklahoma doesn’t have any federally-inspected beef plants and thus producers must ship beef out of state for processing. She has written letters to members of the Oklahoma Congressional delegation asking them to support and co-sponsor S. 3519.
“It’s an economic development issue. Passage of S. 3519 in Congress would allow state-inspected meat and poultry products to be sold in other states as long as state inspections meet or exceed federal standards and that would open the door for beef processing plants to locate in Oklahoma,” Lawler said. “Agriculture is a tremendous part of our state’s economy and Oklahoma’s elected representatives should do everything we can to be farming friendly.”
Lawler suggests that Oklahomans call or write Oklahoma’s five U.S. Representatives and two U.S. Senators and join her in encouraging them to co-sponsor and support S. 3519.