House passes bill to provide prompt grain inspections

Rep. Kevin Cramer
Rep. Kevin Cramer | The Office of Rep. Kevin Cramer
The House of Representatives unanimously passed the United States Grain Standards Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 this week.

The legislation reauthorizes provisions of the grain standard act until Sept. 30, 2020 and amends it to provide a safeguard mechanism for grain inspection services in the event of an interruption of official inspection services.

The vote came after U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) urged the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) to prepare an executable plan for implementation in the event of future disruptions.

Cramer said access to export facilities and prompt grain inspections by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is vital to North Dakota farmers.

“As they work harder to grow the food to feed a hungry world, farmers should not worry their crops will rot and go to waste in U.S. ports because of labor strikes and delayed grain inspections,” Cramer said.

Cramer has long been a proponent of the efforts to keep grain inspections consistent. He contacted USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in November 2013 in response to inconsistent grain inspections caused by labor strikes in the Pacific Northwest and again in 2014, as grain inspections there continued to be delayed.

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