Industry welcomes USDA regulation climbdown

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Meat industry reps have been critical of the GIPSA rule
Meat industry reps have been critical of the GIPSA rule

Related tags: Interim final rule, Meat

The US meat industry has largely welcomed the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to withdraw proposed legislation on the buying and selling of livestock.

First proposed back in 2010, the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) interim final rule (IFR) would have potentially opened up processors to the prospect of lawsuits, with the plaintiffs not having to prove a competitive impact as part of their case.

It was felt by the industry that this would have harmed competition in the market and affected the entire food chain.

This situation has been avoided following a decision by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue​ not to move forward with the interim final rule. The agency also announced it would take no further action on proposed regulation of the Farmer Fair Practices Rule.

‘Inconsistent’

The decision was welcomed by North American Meat Institute president and CEO Barry Carpenter.

We appreciate Secretary Perdue and the agency carefully considering the many comments submitted, including strong opposition from many livestock and poultry producers who recognised the interim final rule would have greatly harmed the entire industry​,” said Carpenter. “The Secretary and his staff recognised the considerable harm the rule would have done to those farmers and ranchers, as well as consumers, retailers, meat packers and processors​.

The Meat Institute has long argued the IFR was inconsistent with the existing statute, years of judicial precedent and the will of Congress, with a price tag in the billions​,” he said. “The administration’s fresh look shows it’s time to move on from this irresponsible rule​.”

Colin Woodall, senior vice-president for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said: “This is a victory for America’s cattle and beef producers – and it’s a victory for America’s consumers. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue deserves a great deal of thanks and credit for this smart decision. The proposed rule would have crippled cattle producers’ ability to market their products through the value-added programs that help make American-produced beef the most delicious and nutritious in the world. This is a decision worthy of celebrating with a top-quality steak​.”

National Pork Producers Council president Ken Maschhoff added: “The regulations would have restricted the buying and selling of livestock, led to consolidation of the livestock industry – putting farmers out of business – and increased consumer prices for meat​.”

Related topics: Meat

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