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House Examines the State of the Livestock Industry.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

(American Meat Institute)

On Wednesday April 30, the House Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development and Credit held a hearing to review the state of the livestock industry.  Members heard testimony from USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber, as well as other leading experts representing the animal agriculture industry.  Most notably, Glauber told the Subcommittee that the USDA has found that country-of-origin-labeling (COOL) has little impact on consumer meat choices.  Shane Miller, senior vice president of Tyson Foods, agreed with Glauber's assessment, noting that Tyson has not received any feedback from its customers signaling that COOL is necessary.  During the hearing, a bipartisan group of farm-state lawmakers repeated their vow to repeal COOL, should the World Trade Organization (WTO) rule against the U.S. in its upcoming decision.   

The Subcommittee also heard from proponents and opponents of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) about its impact on the livestock industry.  The poultry industry, which opposes RFS, argued that ethanol has forced up feed prices, preventing these companies from expanding operations and fulfilling consumers' desire to have a cheaper alternative to beef and pork, while the National Farmers Union affirmed support for RFS, noting that the agriculture industry should be united behind renewable foods in order to be more food secure.  The hearing raised concerns over the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule, citing its onerous requirements and burdensome costs.  Other issues discussed included the impacts of animal disease and drought on the industry.  To access the full hearing, please click here.   

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