Ongoing economic restrictions driven by the coronavirus outbreak will cause shortages of beef and pork in grocery stores and supermarkets, said Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), offering his remarks in an interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak.
Frozen meat sold to restaurants and then resold to grocery stories is currently minimizing the impact of a growing beef and and pork shortage across the country, explained Massie.
“I’ll tell you why there will be shortages,” Massie stated. “Right now there aren’t shortages because there was a supply of meat that was destined for restaurants, and the demand at the restaurants was curtailed when they were shut down. It’s frozen meat, and [restaurants] are repackaging it and diverting that supply to the grocery stores.”
Massie continued, “That supply is going to run out. The [meat] pipeline has a crimp in it, and that’s at the processing plants. A significant fraction of our country’s processing plants have shut down due to COVID. … I raise beef cattle by the way, I have 60 of them back at my house and so I understand this.”
Other members of Congress own cattle, but only a few of us RAISE cattle.
I fix the fences, feed the hay, castrate bulls, fertilize fields, put tags in their ears, move them between pastures, wean calves.
FOOD SHORTAGES ARE COMING.
USDA needs to acknowledge and respond now.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) April 26, 2020
“With pork, mew pigs are born, and you have to sell the hogs that you have [and have] fed out, otherwise there’s no place to put the new pigs that are born,” added Massie.
The shutting down of meat processing plants will drive the euthanizing of animals and subsequent “shortages in the supermarket,” Massie warned.
“I think you could see the same emergency [with beef] happening by this fall,” Massie stated. “It just it would be really devastating to have shortages in the supermarket. Meanwhile, you might have farmers who have to euthanize animals because they don’t have the space or the feed.”
Massie introduced the PRIME (Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption) Act to liberalize meat sales. According to his website, the legislation would “make it easier for small farms and ranches to serve consumers. The PRIME Act would give individual states freedom to permit intrastate distribution of custom-slaughtered meat such as beef, pork, or lamb to consumers, restaurants, hotels, boarding houses, and grocery stores.
“Today, those processors can’t sell into grocery stores because even though they’re inspected, they don’t have an inspector on staff all the time, so the USDA won’t let them sell in the grocery stores,” Massie explained.
Massie concluded, “Let those small meat processors fill in the gaps so that we don’t have the dangerous situation where we’re euthanizing animals instead of providing them as food. My bill would allow that to happen.”
Breitbart News Sunday broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot 125 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.