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USDA Withdraws GIPSA Rule, Meat Institute Applauds Decision

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

(North American Meat Institute)

The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) last week withdrew the Interim Final Rule (IFR) regarding the scope of sections 202(a) and (b) of the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA or the act), and provided notification that the agency will take no further action on the proposed rule regarding unfair practices and undue preferences. GIPSA cited serious legal and policy concerns related to promulgation and implementation of the IFR as the agency's bases for withdrawal.

Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter applauded GIPSA's decision stating, "We appreciate Secretary Perdue and the agency carefully considering the many comments submitted, including strong opposition from many livestock and poultry producers who recognized the interim final rule would have greatly harmed the entire industry."

Published in December 2016, the IFR would have revised the PSA regulations to state that a finding of harm or likely harm to competition was not needed to find a violation of section 202(a) or (b) of the act. The IFR also would have limited marketing agreements that allow the industry to meet consumer demand for certain animal handling and production requirements, such as organic, grass fed, raised without antibiotics and others, thereby restricting the availability of these products for consumers.

"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. The administration's fresh look shows it's time to move on from this irresponsible rule," Carpenter added.

In comments submitted earlier this year, the Meat Institute called on GIPSA to withdraw the rules.

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