National livestock groups are hailing the Department of Agriculture’s withdraw of a GIPSA rule a victory.
USDA published a notice in the Federal Register announcing it would withdraw the interim final rule under the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, known as GIPSA. Through submitted comments, USDA said a common theme of those opposed to the interim final rule was that it would lead to increased litigation.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association called the withdraw a victory for beef producers and consumers. The National Chicken Council says the rule “would have opened the floodgates to frivolous and costly litigation,” while applauding the USDA action.
The National Pork Producers Council, which says it led the opposition effort against the interim final rule, said the organization was “very pleased” with the move. NPPC says an Informa Economics study found that the 2010 GIPSA Rule would have cost the U.S. pork industry more than $420 million annually, more than $4 per hog, in added litigation costs.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue’s decision not to finalize the interim Farmer Fair Practices Rule written last year by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, drew immediate fire from Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley. Grassley charges big packers are taking advantage of independent hog producers through predatory practices, and in an unusual tirade against USDA and the Trump Administration, he vowed to protest to USDA…
Perdue echoed arguments by the pork and cattle industries that the rule, first mandated by Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill, but not funded for years, would mean easier-to-bring lawsuits, more packers growing their own livestock and higher consumer prices.
The American Farm Bureau Federation said the rule as written was flawed and could lead to less competition. However, the National Farmers Union and others saw the rule as key to leveling the playing field between packers and independent producers.