Agriculture Commission Works to Change Interstate Meat Laws

The amount of meat processed for food in the United States is staggering.

With many of the products we consume coming from overseas, farmers at home can lose out on business.

Commissioner Ron Sparks and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries wants to change the way the Federal government looks at meat processing.

Right now, state inspected meat from Alabama's farms can only be sold within state lines.

"We can't ship our meat to Georgia or Mississippi, but someone form a foreign country can ship their products anywhere they want to in the United States," Sparks explained.

This is made possible through guidelines held by legislation over 40 years old.

Nowadays, proponents say the laws are antiquated, especially since the inspectors work for state and federal agencies.

"It's really a technicality that [the government is] holding us hostage with," Sparks said.

Alabama is one of 28 states vying for the right to sell their meat products across the country.

With new legislation working its way through Congress, the borders boxing in the state's meat market may soon be opening up.

Reporter: Cody Holyoke