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Food Safety Plan will Protect Michigan Consumers

Legislation Aims To Ensure Food Quality By Raising Standards On Animal Care

June 17, 2009       Leave a Comment
By: MyBayCity Staff

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In a move to ensure the highest quality of food safety for Michigan consumers, State Representatives Mike Simpson (D-Jackson) and Jeff Mayes (D-Bay City) this week announced a package of bills that will implement the nation's premier standards for animal care in the production of meat, eggs and dairy products.

"With the recent problems with food preparation in other areas of the country, Michigan consumers deserve to know that what's on their plate is of only the best quality," said Simpson, Chair of the House Agriculture Committee. "By applying these science-based standards, we can ensure the safety of our residents and the continued viability of Michigan farms. I am committed to working with farmers and the agricultural industry on common-sense standards that work for both farmers and consumers."

The legislation provides a set of livestock care requirements that many food companies recognize as the gold standard in farm animal care. In order to ensure the quality and safety of food produced via Michigan livestock, the plan will:

Establish that the Department of Agriculture and the Agriculture Commission is the sole authority in the regulation of livestock health and welfare

Implement science-based standards for animal care that farmers must implement by 2020

Create an Animal Care Advisory Council that will make recommendations for changes to existing standards

Create a third-party auditing system to oversee the program

"At a time when our state is going through the worst economic crisis in a generation, we must be sure that Michigan farmers aren't bearing the brunt of this downturn," Mayes said. "Agriculture is one of the largest industries in Michigan and the men and women employed by this industry deserve our support. These new standards will ensure that when people think of Michigan agriculture, they think of quality products."

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