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sequestration

Senate Approves Measure to Avoid Meat Inspector Furloughs

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The Senate on Wednesday approved an amendment to avoid meat inspector furloughs that were slated to occur under the current across-the-board budget cuts, known as the sequester. Introduced by Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), the measure would redirect $55 million from other areas of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s budget to the… Continue Reading

All Federal Meat Inspectors To Be Furloughed on 11 Scheduled Days

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The nation’s meat inspectors  will be forced to take the same days off, possibility shutting down the U.S. meat industry on those dates, the House Agriculture Subcommittee learned Wednesday. In an exchange with USDA Under Secretary For Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen, the committee heard details of the administration’s plan for 11 furlough days that might… Continue Reading

Q&A With Michael Taylor Part II: Sequestration, Pet Food and Antibiotics

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Part II of Food Safety News’ conversation with Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, covers sequestration, pet food, antibiotics and whether he plans to retire anytime soon. Q: Right now your agency is looking at cuts, not increases. Some estimate that FDA is taking essentially… Continue Reading

Meat Inspector Furloughs Months Away, Says Vilsack

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Furloughs of meat inspectors will take “several months” to roll out, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told lawmakers on Tuesday. The department will send out notices to union representatives this week letting them know furloughs are possible, Vilsack told members of Congress at a House Agriculture Committee hearing, according to multiple media reports. “We will do… Continue Reading

CDC Cut of $450 Million Will Likely Come at a Greater Cost

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Sequestration is costing the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta about $450 million, or 8 percent of its total funding for fiscal year (FY) 2013. But since CDC is in the business of surveillance and prevention of infectious diseases, don’t look for the federal government to save any money in the long… Continue Reading

The Sequestration and the Food Safety Modernization Act

Opinion

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Under the sequester, the government last week implemented across-the-board budget cuts that will affect multiple government agencies. As an attempt to reign in the federal budget, the sequestration plan proposes cuts that could further stymie important legislation such as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated publicly that… Continue Reading

Vilsack: Under Sequestration, USDA Cannot Avoid Furloughing Meat Inspectors

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Under the sequester, which recently put in place across-the-board budget cuts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has no choice but to eventually furlough meat inspectors, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack again said on Friday.  The statement comes after some lawmakers and industry groups questioned whether USDA needed to furlough inspectors and argued that the department had… Continue Reading

Sequester Expected to Have Big Impact on Food Safety; Details Unknown

Taylor: Reducing funding at FDA "wrong direction"

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Other than a memo put out by the White House earlier this month, which forecast reduced food inspections and meat inspector furloughs, there is not much known about exactly how the sequester, scheduled to kick in on Friday, will impact federal food safety oversight. According to the document put out by the White House Office… Continue Reading

Vilsack: With Sequester, USDA Would Have “No Choice” But to Furlough Food Safety Inspectors

Cattlemen accuse administration for playing politics with meat inspection

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the White House have caused quite a stir in food and agriculture circles by warning that budget sequestration could lead to a two-week furlough of federal meat inspectors, which would effectively halt American meat and poultry processing. The meat industry has responded by arguing that the U.S. Department of Agriculture… Continue Reading

Industry: Government is Obligated to Provide Meat Inspection, Even With Sequester

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After the White House and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack suggested that the automatic budget cuts, known as the sequester, could force the government to furlough all federal meat inspectors, the food industry is arguing that such a move would violate the government’s legal obligation to keep inspectors at work. Furloughing more than 6,000 meat safety… Continue Reading