The proposed budget released February 1 by the White House includes provisions for two user fees that would be charged to meat, poultry and egg processing facilities.

According to the budget, “The first is a performance-based user fee, which will be charged to plants that have sample failures or require additional inspection activities due to a pattern of regulatory non-compliance. The second one is a flat fee for facility applications and annual renewal activities in order to cover the increased costs above those basic inspection services provided to meat, poultry or processed egg products establishments. The amount of this fee would be based on a plant's size.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the revenue from these fees, if approved by Congress, would total $4 million and $8.6 million, respectively.

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The American Meat Institute noted in a statement that the fees would be added to other service fees currently collected by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

According to the statement, “In 2011, FSIS estimates it will collect $131 million through existing user fee and trust fund activities for providing overtime, holiday and voluntary inspection services.”