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Sequester Meat Shortages Months Away, Says USDA Secretary
www.wftw.com ^ | 05 Mar 13 | Staff

Posted on 03/05/2013 1:23:53 PM PST by Red Badger

(WASHINGTON) -- The sequester likely won’t cause meat and poultry shortages for a while — thanks, in part, to union negotiations and USDA inspectors’ lack of email access.

Furloughs to Food Safety and Inspection Service inspectors at the U.S. Department of Agriculture could force meat and poultry plants to stop production — with no inspectors to approve products, they can’t be sold — but Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the House Agriculture Committee that those furloughs probably won’t happen until later this year.

“We are looking at a several-month period, if you will, before a furlough will be imposed,” Vilsack said, depending on negotiations with the inspectors’ union.

A drawn-out notification process will prevent the furloughs from happening right away, Vilsack said.

“This week we will send out notices to the union reps that a furlough is possible, and one of the challenges is that not every one of our workers in this particular area has email, so we actually have to hand-deliver a letter or written notification to those employees. That has to be followed up … with oral conferences to take place with any employee who requests an oral confirmation–that will happen at the local level,” Vilsack said. After all employees are notified, Vilsack said, USDA will negotiate with union representatives over how the furloughs will be implemented.

But if furloughs do happen, Vilsack warned their impact could be particularly severe.

That’s because furloughs will be concentrated over just a few months this year. Inspectors will miss 11-12 days each between now and Sept. 30 (end of the fiscal year), Vilsack predicted, and the longer USDA waits, meat and poultry producers could feel a more severe impact over a shorter time frame. USDA has already projected that food-safety will be particularly hard hit by furloughs, as 87 percent of that account’s budget goes to food inspectors and “support” for inspectors.

Republican members of the committee appeared perplexed that Vilsack hadn’t begun the furlough process sooner, spreading them out over more time and lessening their effects. Vilsack replied that he couldn’t start the process until President Obama issued his sequester order on Friday.

“If you have six months left to implement this, you have in essence a 10 percent reduction in your remaining resources. If you have three months, you have a 15 percent reduction,” Vilsack said. “I think we’ll have more than three months, but it won’t be a lot more than three months, and that’s one of the problems.”

In other words, furloughs will begin sometime before July 1, though Vilsack wouldn’t guess at how many days or months beforehand.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government
KEYWORDS: foodsupply; sequester; usda; welfare

1 posted on 03/05/2013 1:23:56 PM PST by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

Cherry Picking what they can cut to frighten America.


2 posted on 03/05/2013 1:25:48 PM PST by Venturer
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To: Red Badger

pay tribute to Fedzilla, or starve.


3 posted on 03/05/2013 1:28:33 PM PST by PGR88
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To: Red Badger

But Kerry’s cash gifts to the Muslim Brotherhood are ESSENTIAL!


4 posted on 03/05/2013 1:28:56 PM PST by Argus
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To: Venturer

The Wookiee wants everyone off of meat ,so what’s the problem


5 posted on 03/05/2013 1:30:10 PM PST by molson209
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To: Red Badger

Hardly anyone can afford meat anymore anyway, so what’s the problem?


6 posted on 03/05/2013 1:31:44 PM PST by riri (Plannedopolis-look it up. It's how the elites plan for US to live.)
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To: Red Badger
I worked at a plant that produced over 320,000 pounds of USDA inspected meats per day. I was involved in process controls. I saw the inspectors three times in four years. There were (2) assigned to the facility as their primary site and were responsible for several others as minor producers.

We also had state inspectors there 24/7 who duplicated what the federal inspectors did. Dumb.

7 posted on 03/05/2013 1:32:47 PM PST by blackdog (There is no such thing as healing, only a balance between destructive and constructive forces.)
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To: Red Badger
One word:

BS!

8 posted on 03/05/2013 1:38:26 PM PST by The Sons of Liberty (It's not "GUN CONTROL"! It's "PEOPLE CONTROL"!)
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To: Red Badger

Who knew.. cows being furloughed.


9 posted on 03/05/2013 1:39:54 PM PST by maddog55 (America Rising.... Civil War II)
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To: Venturer

Not frighten - HURT.

The seek to PUNISH people for not demanding that the cuts never happen.


10 posted on 03/05/2013 1:40:53 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Red Badger

And when I said assigned, they actually had their offices inside our plant. They also had a secretary. They were never there. The times I saw them was in summer, late at night during rain storms. They were inspecting for roof leaks or dripping of condensate in processing areas. While they appeared incredibly lazy and aloof, they did seem to know what to look for and where to look for it. They were not deft. Black drain flies must have been a big issue as well because the QA army inside the plant based their checks on what USDA looked for. Drips from ceilings and pipes, black drain flies, room temps kept below 38 dgrees, and sanitation records seemed to be the big ticket focus.


11 posted on 03/05/2013 1:42:59 PM PST by blackdog (There is no such thing as healing, only a balance between destructive and constructive forces.)
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To: Red Badger
Maybe they could "discover" some contamination?

Can't let an opportunity go to waste just because you have no real crisis.

12 posted on 03/05/2013 1:44:14 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("Somebody has to be courageous enough to stand up to the bullies." --Dr. Ben Carson)
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To: maddog55

Who knew.. cows being furloughed
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Back when they ‘invented’ Daylight Savings Time, an old farmer was asked how he like the idea of being able to get another hours sleep in the morning.

He kind of shifted on a foot, spat and said ‘Ain’t no help for me, them cows giving milk and the chickens laying don’t know the difference in the Morning, just makes more time for me to have to work after supper’......


13 posted on 03/05/2013 1:47:39 PM PST by xrmusn (6/98 "It is virtually impossible to clean the pond as long as the pigs are still crapping in it")
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To: Red Badger

In other words, furloughs will begin sometime before July 1, though Vilsack wouldn’t guess at how many days or months beforehand.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Instead of ‘forced’ furloughs that disrupt EVERYONE, why not knock off paid Holidays and either pay straight time + COMP time for those that do work.
I am sure some of this new fangled ‘personal days’, ‘paternity leave’ etc could revert back to the old days.
Of course do that and ‘the workers’ wouldn’t be able to take a sick day and leave day as quick as they accumulate them, again, back to the old days.

OLD isn’t always bad, in this case it could be beneficial for all.

Of course, if you were to do that, you would cut down on the number of people you can inconvenience.


14 posted on 03/05/2013 1:53:25 PM PST by xrmusn (6/98 "It is virtually impossible to clean the pond as long as the pigs are still crapping in it")
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To: Venturer
These scumbags have $150 million to give to the moslum brotherhood and $60 million to al quada in Syria but they don't have money for American citizens. They should all be locked up in prison for treason.
15 posted on 03/05/2013 2:36:07 PM PST by peeps36 (America is being destroyed by filthy traitors in the political establishment)
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To: Red Badger

No meat products on the shelves for the WIC program—aka baby food—in the near future? Can’t give away anything there isn’t any of? New Zealander, Australian, and Argentine meat products anyone? That frozen Argentina beef is the toughest stuff to run through a grinder in my experience.


16 posted on 03/05/2013 2:59:56 PM PST by Scram1
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To: Red Badger

Aren’t the inspectors into all food not just chicken and meat? Is this going to be the start of food shortages for everything not just those mentioned?


17 posted on 03/05/2013 3:03:26 PM PST by she geek
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To: xrmusn

Remember when our government worked for us and tried anything and everything to keep things going. I am sick of all these Cabinet secretaries politicizing their departments. Exactly right, Vilsack needs to make sure commerce continues with less money, instead of being a political prostitute for the President.


18 posted on 03/05/2013 3:40:53 PM PST by taterjay
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To: Red Badger

So, ah, everyone in the meat industry is just going to let the government shut them down, trash whatever is in the pipeline and destroy their business? I don’t think so.


19 posted on 03/05/2013 3:50:39 PM PST by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: Red Badger

Mark my words, by the Fourth of July beef prices will be high and the administration will blame them on the sequestration.

Reason: “US cattle herd numbers drop to 60-year low
Midwest drought driving ranching operations north, west”

With the high price of feed, we’ve sold all our cattle.


20 posted on 03/05/2013 3:52:03 PM PST by griswold3 (Big Government does not tolerate rivals.)
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To: Red Badger

The Millenium Ark (standeyo.com) has already alerted the knowing readership, 4 months ago, that there will be an upcoming beef shortage, brought on by the continuing drought.


21 posted on 03/05/2013 3:56:13 PM PST by Terry L Smith
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To: Red Badger

More hysteria and promotions of panic.


22 posted on 03/05/2013 4:25:17 PM PST by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: Scram1

If you think that is tough, just try armadillo meat sometime!............


23 posted on 03/06/2013 7:47:10 AM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Red Badger

just try armadillo meat sometime!.....
= = = = = = = = = = =
You know you are supposed to take it out of the shell don’t you? <: <: <:


24 posted on 03/10/2013 8:27:37 PM PDT by xrmusn (6/98 "It is virtually impossible to clean the pond as long as the pigs are still crapping in it")
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