Will a government shutdown affect food?

Apr 8, 2011 12:05 pm

What the budget standoff means to food

Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/scpgt/">scpgt</a> on Flickr
Photo: scpgt on Flickr
 

If the budget showdown in DC leads to a government shutdown, who will inspect meat and dairy? The US Department of Agriculture, like other agencies, would be subject to furloughs, so it's a fair question.

“Agency operational plans are still being finalized, but in the event of a government shutdown most USDA activities would be shut down or significantly reduced and most USDA employees would be furloughed,” an unnamed official tells The Daily Herd.

The official does add, however, that because inspection of meat, egg, and grains is a matter of public health, inspections would continue throughout a government shutdown, which could take effect if Congress and President Obama don't come to an agreement about the budget by midnight tonight, April 8.

Food stamps and other government programs that have funding to continue at least in the short term will not be affected. And according to Food Safety News, the last government shutdown over budget issues in 1995 did not cause a disruption to USDA inspections.


Will Democrats and Republicans come to an agreement on the budget or will the government shut down at midnight? And if DC does shut down, do you believe that the USDA will still be inspecting meat and dairy? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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