Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has urged Congress to pass the PRIME Act during an interview on Thursday.
“The onerous red tape doesn’t make us safer. What it does is it creates a monopoly,” Paul told Local 12.
The PRIME Act, which was originally written by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), would allow the in-state sale of meat by processors to grocery stores and restaurants without USDA approval.
The bill was introduced in the Senate by Paul and Sen. Angus King (I-ME) in May 2019. However, it has been revived following the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has caused problems for national meat supply chains, leading to national shortages.
“As pork, beef and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain,” said John Tyson, chairman of Tyson’s Foods, a major meat producer.
Over two million animals have been culled on farms as a consequence of the closure of major processing plants.
Massie, a livestock farmer himself, explained why on Twitter.
“Hog farmers run out of space, and the hogs get too big to slaughter if kept on the farm,” he wrote when asked why farmers did not just retain their livestock.
Passing the PRIME Act would help substantially speed up supply chains, reducing wasted meat and increasing availability of meat in stores.