Lawmakers Say Scrap Proposed GIPSA Rule

May 18, 2011

Contact: Dave Warner 202-347-3600

Washington, May 18, 2011 – The National Pork Producers Council praised the 147 House lawmakers who today urged U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to withdrawal a proposed rule on buying and selling livestock and poultry and to propose a regulation “more consistent with the intent of Congress outlined in the 2008 Farm Bill.”

The 2008 Farm Bill authorized USDA to promulgate regulations under the Packers and Stockyards Act to address five specific areas related to livestock and poultry contracts. The rule would be administered by USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration and is known as the GIPSA rule.

In a bipartisan letter to the secretary, the House members also asked that revisions to the proposed rule and an economic analysis of the regulation be open for public comment “before a final or interim final rule is published.”

“America’s pork producers are grateful to the nearly 150 House members who asked that the proposed GIPSA rule be withdrawn,” said NPPC President Doug Wolf, a pork producer from Lancaster, Wis. “As written, the regulation would be bad for producers, bad for consumers and bad for rural America.

“In writing the GIPSA rule, USDA went well beyond what Congress asked it to do,” added Wolf. “And the regulation it came up with will cost the U.S. pork industry nearly $400 million a year, limit farmers’ ability to sell animals, dictate the terms of private contracts, make it harder to get farm financing, raise consumer prices and reduce choices, stifle innovation and lead to more vertical integration of the pork industry.”

Said the lawmakers in their letter: “It is troubling that the Department appears to be using the rule-making process to accomplish objectives specifically rejected by Congress, and we are confident any such rule will not be looked upon favorably by Congress.”

NPPC gave particular praise to Reps. Jim Costa, D-Calif., and Reid Ribble, R-Wis., for working to get their colleagues to sign on to the letter to Vilsack.

 

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NPPC is the global voice for the U.S. pork industry, protecting the livelihoods of America’s 67,000 pork producers, who abide by ethical principles in caring for their animals, in protecting the environment and public health and in providing safe, wholesome, nutritious pork products to consumers worldwide. For more information, visit www.nppc.org.