Other Voices: Federal government shutdown

10/04/2013 09:20:00 AM
The Packer staff

On Oct. 1, the federal government began a shutdown after the House of Representatives and the Senate failed to pass a fiscal year spending bill. Below are excerpts from other media on the shutdown’s effect on issues pertaining to the agriculture industry.

The nine most painful impacts of a government shutdown

By Brad Plummer, The Washington Post, Oct. 3

During the shutdown, the Food and Drug Administration will have to cease most of its food-safety operations. That includes “routine establishment inspections, some compliance and enforcement activities, monitoring of imports, notification programs (e.g., food contact substances, infant formula), and the majority of the laboratory research necessary to inform public health decision-making.”

This past December, the FDA shut down a nut processor in New Mexico after records showed that the facility was shipping products infected with salmonella. That sort of monitoring and enforcement could become much harder.

Louisiana agriculture, business, shipping hit by shutdown

By Mike Hasten, The Shreveport Times, Oct. 2

BATON ROUGE –The federal government shutdown is hitting in some surprising places, says Mike Strain, Louisiana commissioner of agriculture and forestry.

“On a day-to-day basis, we’ll see how much this affects us,” he said. “These delays could cost Americans.” ...

Most federal food inspectors — except those at meat packing plants — are furloughed, he said, and the office that issues permits to migrant workers who are important to fruit and vegetable growers is closed.

The cost of fruits and vegetables is likely to rise if the shutdown continues, he said.

E-Verify goes dark as shutdown cuts links to companies

By Todd Shields and Jim Efstathiou Jr., Bloomberg News, Oct. 1

The Internet-based system that employers use to check whether job applicants may legally work went dark as U.S. agencies limited or cut off electronic communications companies use in everyday tasks.

Websites that shut down included the E-Verify site run by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the agency sites of the Census Bureau, Agriculture Department, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Library of Congress and the federal and international trade commissions.


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