Federal Red Tape Is Keeping Local Meat Processors From Helping Fix Our Supply Problem

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A renewed push to pass the PRIME Act picks up steam as COVID-19 leaves us all asking “Where’s the beef?”

The increasing possibility of a breakdown in the meat supply chain in the United States due to COVID-19 is prompting Rep. Thomas Massie (R–Ky.) to renew his push for a bill that would make it easier for small, independent slaughterhouses and meat processors to sell directly to consumers. Large meatpacking plants across the country have shut down due to fears of COVID-19 outbreaks among workers, and less and less meat is making it to grocers and restaurants. Wendy’s has run out of beef for hundreds of its restaurants Reason’s Brian Doherty has documented how the broad shutdown of commerce is harming the world’s food supply, and it’s likely going to get worse. Reason food policy writer Baylen Linnekin noted on Saturday that the federal government already does not have a great track record in regulating the food industry in a way that makes it easy to stay in business. We shouldn’t assume the government is going to do a good job at helping businesses reopen.