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“Consumers want to know where their food comes from, what it contains and how it’s processed. Yet, federal inspection requirements make it difficult to purchase food from trusted, local farmers. It is time to open our markets to give producers the freedom to succeed and consumers the freedom to choose.” ~ Congressman Thomas Massie, press release (June 11, 2021)
By Pete Kennedy
Access to slaughterhouses, especially USDA- and state-inspected slaughterhouses, remains the biggest weakness in the local food system. Many slaughterhouses in the U.S. are booked out for a year or more, making it difficult for small farmers and ranchers to meet demand. The best legislative solution to this problem is the Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption Act known as the PRIME Act.
The PRIME Act (H.R. 3835 / S. 2001) is before Congress for a fourth time and its passage is needed more than ever, especially with the supply chain disruptions of the past year and a half, and the intensifying, well-timed campaign for synthetic meat to replace real meat in our diets.
Passage of the PRIME Act would enable states to pass laws legalizing the sale of custom slaughtered meat produced within their borders. Congressman Thomas Massie, lead sponsor of the PRIME Act, returns to the Solari Food Series to discuss its prospects in the 117th Congress. Officially, Congressman Massie represents the 4th district of Kentucky; unofficially, he is the Congressman for the local food movement in this country. As a cattleman himself, Massie has first-hand experience with the slaughterhouse bottleneck hurting small livestock producers. He talks about how the bill can significantly improve the slaughterhouse infrastructure in the US, what the problems with the current system are, what the opposition to the legislation is, and how despite its powerful opponents the PRIME Act does have a chance to pass.
Most importantly, Representative Massie tells us how we can support the bill. It’s just a matter of making three phone calls: one to each of our U.S. senators and another to our U.S. representative. He believes that as little as 10 phone calls to a congressional (federal legislator’s) office can result in a bill co-sponsor. You will find a link to a Weston A. Price Foundation action alert on the PRIME Act below, which provides talking points on the importance of passing the bill. Your support can make the difference!
Action Alert with talking points: “PRIME Act needs your support in the new Congress!”
Representatives Massie and Pingree Introduce Bipartisan PRIME Act to Empower Local Livestock Farmers, Meet Consumer Demand – June 11, 2021 Press Release