The White House is warning that federal spending cuts and the unresolved fiscal cliff could shut down the meat industry for two weeks or longer.
Cuts set to start March 1 could lead to a two-week furlough of every U.S. meat and poultry inspector. Without inspectors, the industry would be shut down.
It’s illegal to ship beef, pork, lamb, and poultry without an Agricultural Department inspection seal.
Meat prices would go up dramatically, a meat shortage would follow, and the industry could lose close to $10 billion.