Murray, Cantwell Backed Grain Inspection Bill Signed By President

Bill provides integrity of the existing inspection system, certainty for grain buyers, sellers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, President Barack Obama signed into law the U.S. Grain Standards Reauthorization Act of 2015. The act, backed by U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, maintains state-delegated inspection services for grain exports.

This spring, Murray and Cantwell sent a letter to the Senator Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Nutrition pushing them to reauthorize the state-delegated inspection services, which are critical to ensuring the international competitiveness of Washington state agricultural products. Washington state is one of the states with delegated authority that performs inspection on behalf of the Federal Grain Inspection Service.

“The Grain Standards Act reauthorization maintains Washington state’s world-class grain inspection system, which provides a guarantee of quality that is highly respected by purchasers. This system ensures the high quality of grains produced by Washington state’s growers is recognized, and I’m so proud to see the President sign this reauthorization into law,” Senator Murray said. “Washington state continues to be a hub for excellent agricultural production, and this renewal will allow producers to continue to be competitive in a global market.”

“Agriculture supports 160,000 jobs in Washington state -- and Washington wheat products are helping feed the growing middle class around the world. Passage of this bill ensures both buyers and sellers of grain can count on high quality, efficient inspections. Providing certainty to consumers of our agricultural products will ensure their continued strength in Asian markets,” said Senator Cantwell.

In addition to allowing state-delegated inspections, U.S. Grain Standards Reauthorization Act of 2015 reauthorizes the role of the Federal Grain Inspection Service and provides important safeguards to inform Congress and continue inspections in the event of any disruption.

Washington is one of the nation’s leading wheat-exporting states. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wheat is the number two agricultural export product from Washington worth an estimated $1 billion annually. In 2013, more than 50 percent of total US wheat was exported, with 40 percent of wheat leaving the country through ports in Oregon and Washington.