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the two sets of annual figures doubled is the amount of conservation practices not carried out on the Nation's soils because the Federal Government could not match the farmer's requests. I should add that many farmer's requests are never tabulated because they either hear that there are no more funds or they tailor their requests to what assistance they know they can receive. ACP funds available for practices and farmers' requests
[In thousands of dollars)
1,070 11, 100 7, 491 7, 800 10, 674 5,982 5, 625 9, 993 29, 674
2, 681 72,358
1 State allocation used as amount available not given,
With floods ravaging the Far West last fall and now with the Middle West being laid waste, it seems to me we have ample evidence that soil-conserving measures should be increased rather than decreased.
Certainly these measures will not stop all floods but anyone who has seen rampant waters knows that protected fields withstand the onslaught of rushing waters whereas unprotected fields gully many feet deep and sometimes disappear altogether.
And so, much as I would like to appeal to this committee to go back to the original intent of the Congress, as expressed in the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, I instead respectfully request that you do all in your power to maintain the ACP authorization for the 1966 program at $250 million. Thank you very much for this opportunity to appear before you and present this statement.
AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION PROGRAM Mr. Koch. As you know, I appear regularly before you each year in support of the agriculture conservation program, which
Senator HOLLAND. Supporting the budget request on this amount?
Mr. Koch. Hardly.
We are also supporting the position that Congress has taken, which is the $250 million, for a number of years now.
Senator HOLLAND. Congress hasn't taken any position this year.
Mr. Koch. That is correct. And this, of course, is our position again this year. We would like very much to have you people restore the program to the $250 million. Of course, we personally believe that the Congress was right in 1936 when they authorized this legislation at $5 million a year, and the cuts through the years, as you know, have been made in the name of economy, and now for the last few years, the Budget Bureau has recommended a further cut, but both the House and the Senate have restored this.
If you will look on page 4, Mr. Chairman, I have determined some figures from the various States. Unfortunately, they are not complete, but you will notice in the State of Florida, the farmers requested from their county committees over $7 million each year in 1963 and 1964, for assistance, when just a little over $3 million was available. This proves what we have testified here, I guess, in the last decade, that the farmers themselves approve this program.
If you recall my testimony last year, we surveyed a group of farmers, over 50,000, all across the country, and they voted about 70 percent to have the $500 million provided, and about 85 to 88 percent to have the $250 million continued each year, and here again, the farmers have demonstrated that they would match these funds with 50 percent of their own money if more funds were available, and, therefore, of course, we would
Senator HOLLAND. You think Congress ought to supply everything that the farmers ask for. Is that it?
Mr. Koch. Not necessarily, sir, but we do believe, for example, in our own field, of using agricultural limestone; the colleges say we ought to be using 80 million tons to maintain the soil conservation work. That needs to be done to maintain the soil in this country, and, somehow or other we think some of us ought to be clever enough to get this done.
We in the industry and the extension service tried very hard from 1914 to 1936, before we had the ACP, to get farmers to use aglime, and they just didn't do it. They were using about a million and a half tons a year.
SUPPORT OF 1965 APPROPRIATION LEVEL
Senator HOLLAND. You are supporting, the continuance of the $250-million level which Congress has supplied heretofore. Is that it?
Mr. Koch. Well, we would like to support the $500 million, of course, but we realize that the practical facts of life are that $250 million is approximately the best figure we could arrive at. We definitely believe that is the minimum. That is correct.
Senator HOLLAND. Thank you, sir.
LETTER FROM THOMAS L, KIMBALL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL WILDLIFE
Senator HOLLAND. The National Wildlife Federation has submitted a statement by Mr. Thomas L. Kimball, executive director of the federation.
Mr. Kimball's letter calls attention with particular emphasis to the wetlands provision. We will place his letter in the record at this time. (The letter of Mr. Kimball follows:)
NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION,
Washington, D.C., April 21, 1965. MR. RAYMOND L. SCHAFER, Clerk, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. SCHAFER: Thank you for your telephone call this date notifying me of hearings on appropriations for the Department of Agriculture for fiscal 1966, scheduled for 10:30a.m., on Monday, April 26.
After again reviewing the budget proposals, there is only one feature upon which I should like to comment and this probably can be done as well by mail as by a personal appearance. Therefore, I should like to relinquish my time before the subcommittee.
The one comment I want to make relates to wetlands drainage. We hope and trust that, as in previous years, the bill will contain this language as relating to the agricultural conservation program (ACP):
"No portion of the funds for the current year's program may be utilized to provide financial or technical assistance for drainage on wetlands now designated as wetland types 3 (III), 4 (IV), and 5 (V) in the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service Circular 39, Wetlands of the United States, 1956.' ” Sincerely,
Thomas L. KIMBALL, Executive Director.
AMERICAN MEAT INSTITUTE
STATEMENT OF ALED P. DAVIES, VICE PRESIDENT
Senator HOLLAND. The next organization is the American Meat Institute. I understand that Mr. Aled P. Davies, vice president of the American Meat Institute, will represent that organization. I have the prepared statement of Mr. Davies.
Are you expecting him shortly?
Mr. DAVIES. Good morning, Mr. Chairman. My apologies for being late. You will have to blame the B. & 0. Railway. The train was late this morning.
I will try to summarize very briefly my statement.
Senator Holland. Do you wish to have your full statement placed in the record ?
Mr. Davies. Yes, sir.
My name is Aled P. Davies. I am vice president of the American Meat Institute, national trade association of the meatpacking industry. Our organization appreciates the opportunity again to present its views concerning the Federal meat inspection program, with particular reference to the funds needed to support this important public health service.
The budget request for Federal meat inspection during fiscal 1966 is $35,705,000, an increase of $2,440,000 over costs for the current fiscal year. We support this request and urge that it be approved. Figures of the Department show that in January of this year Federal meat inspection was being conducted at 1,740 meatpacking and processing establishments located in 721 cities and towns throughout the country. During the past year there has been an increase of approximately 100 in the number of federally inspected establishments. In fact, there has been a steady increase ever since 1948, when legislation was enacted to reestablish the principle that meat inspection should be paid for out of public funds. During the 1 year (1947) when costs were assessed against the industry there was some decline in the number of establishments under Federal inspection.
While it is true that the costs of meat inspection have increased steadily over the years, in our opinion the increase has not been out of line with the greatly expanded public need. Moreover, to a large degree increased appropriations have been made necessary by the steady inflationary trend that has affected the cost of virtually every commodity and service. Congress repeatedly has found it necessary to provide more adequate compensation for Government workers in all categories, including meat inspectors, and even now it is difficult to recruit veterinarians for the Meat Inspection Division because of the prospect of greater financial rewards in other lines of endeavor, such as ministering to the medical needs of the ever-growing pet population.
There are many reasons, if one wished to examine them in great detail, why meat inspection appropriations are up, but in general it can be said that the public need for inspection services has greatly expanded and at the same time the costs of providing that service has soared. Nevertheless, even if the expense were much larger than it is Federal meat inspection would continue to be essential and would still be one of the best buys the American taxpayer gets. We feel very strongly about this, and consequently were shocked by the statement this year in the budget message that "since Federal inspection of meat and poultry adds to the market value of these commodities, the cost of the inspection should be treated as an element in the cost of processing them rather than a general charge on taxpayers." One might just as logically argue that since police protection makes use of the public highways safer all those who use those highways should be assessed a toll charge to pay the expenses of providing a police force.
Actually the only essential difference between the meat inspection service and many other public health services of the Federal Government is that in the case of meat inspection there is a relatively small identifiable group-meatpackers and processors on which the cost could be assessed in order to make a showing of budget reduction. But this doesn't alter the basic nature of the service. Nor would such a procedure actually save any money, for the meatpacking industry operates on a margin of about 1 cent per dollar of sales, and the inspection costs would have to be passed on to the consumer of meat or the producer of livestock or both. In periods of ample livestock supplies, it undoubtedly would be the producer that would bear the burden of inspection costs. At this very moment, the National Commission on Food Marketing, established by act of Congress, is engaged in a series of hearings and studies to determine, among other things, reasons for the widening gap between what the consumer pays for meat and what the producer receives for his livestock. We don't believe that anyone who has had the opportunity of hearing testimony before the Food Commission would be eager to go forward with any proposal that would have the effect of adding to the margin.
Going back to the year 1906, when the Federal Meat Inspection Act was passed, the record is filled with references to the essential public character of the service rendered. At the appropriate time, we will be prepared to present these in some detail. However, it seems unnecessary to do so at this hearing where the question before the committee is on providing funds. I would like, however, to put in the record several recent statements that express what we believe to be the majority opinion on this question. In a recent editorial appearing in the Wash, ington Post, the following observations were made: "Meat inspection is required for the protection of people against disease. It is said that 30 diseases which afflict human beings may be derived from animals. Rigid and independent inspection of all meat put on the market is imperative to protect the public from
these sources of infection. This work is as much a public function as the quarantining of individuals with communicable diseases."
Several Members of Congress commented on this editorial. On March 25, Senator Roman L. Hruska stated on the Senate floor: "It is fallacious and spurious to assume that the meat industry is the sole or even the major beneficiary of meat inspection. Federal meat inspection has the sole purpose of insuring that every American who eats meat--and I daresay that includes virtually our entire population-buys only wholesome, disease-free meat products when he shops at his meat market or grocery store. If anything, Federal meat inspection imposes financial burdens on the meatpackers and others who fall under the scope of the Federal activity. They must maintain high standards of cleanliness in their operations that are costly.. Yet those costs are willingly absorbed to insure that the consumer receives the highest quality meat and meat products. It is the consumer who receives the benefit of the Federal meat inspection, not the industry." There have been many similar statements.
Within the Department of Agriculture itself, there appears to be no doubt about the fundamental nature of the program.
As this committee is aware, responsibility for the meat inspection program was recently transferred from the Agricultural Research Service to a newly organized Consumer and Marketing Service. In the debate that preceded this change, the American Meat Institute took a strong position in opposition. We felt that putting meat inspection under a marketing service would lead to a deemphasis of the health protection aspects of the program. Our recommendations were not followed. The transfer was made. However, in the press release announcing the decision, the following significant statements were made: “The Secretary noted that the reorganization provides for the transfer of the inspection functions to a newly appointed Deputy Administrator for Consumer Protection. Thus, the status of the inspection service as a function primarily designed for the protection of the American public is explicitly recognized.”
Shortly after his appointment as Deputy Administrator for Consumer Protection, Dr. Robert K. Somers made the following statement about meat and poultry inspection: “I believe the meat and poultry inspection programs are among the most important consumer protection activities of USDA. Almost every trip the consumer makes to the market involves purchase of meat or poultry products. Assurance of wholesomeness and safety of these products is provided through inspection programs, which today are applied to more than 85 percent of all meat and poultry produced commercially. In addition to the requirements for cleanliness and wholesomeness of the food products, the programs assure consumers that labels on meat and poultry products packed under Federal inspection are both informative and accurate.
On the subject of package and label control, many persons do not appreciate the extent to which the meat industry is regulated. Most food products come under the general provisions of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and, for the most part enforcement action requires the enforcing agency to prove a violation of law. In the case of meat and meat food products, every label and package is approved prior to use, and unless the Meat Inspection Division is satisfied that the public interest is adequately protected, approval is withheld. This is just one of the many phases of Federal meat inspection, which in its entirety operates on the principle of prior approval. Before a plant can obtain inspection, the Division must be satisfied that its construction and layout will permit the production of clean, wholesome products. The livestock are inspected before and after slaughter, and every stage of processing operations is under the eye of a Federal inspector.
Even with a comprehensive program of this sort, problem areas do develop, and it is highly essential that sufficient funds be provided so that these problems may be kept under control. One such problem area is the criminal traffic in unwholesome meat. Newspaper accounts in New York and Chicago have, during the past several months, shocked many members of the public who have tended to take meat inspection for granted. Just within the past month, a representative of the Meat Inspection Division appeared at a hearing conducted by the Illinois Senate to investigate alleged malfeasance in office by inspectors of the State Division of Foods and Dairies. One of the points emphasized was that the Federal inspection is supported by appropriated funds and that the public need have no fear concerning the independence and impartiality of the inspection force. We think this is important and we would add that the priation should be commensurate with the size and importance of the i done.