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Congressman Skelton Reiterates Request for Economic Data on GIPSA Proposed Rule

Friday, October 22, 2010

(American Meat Institute)

Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) is again requesting the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) conduct a comprehensive economic study on the Grain Inspection, Packers and Administration (GIPSA) proposed livestock procurement rule, noting that the Department’s response to an earlier request by more than one-quarter of the House of Representatives is inadequate.

“While I appreciate receiving the Department’s prompt response this week, the correspondence does not adequately address our primary request to the Department. Rather, it indicates that the Department has already conducted, in its view, a sufficient cost-benefit analysis …,” wrote Skelton in a letter to Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

Skelton notes that prior to his initial request, he reviewed the proposed rule and did not believe that the cost-benefit analysis in the Federal Register provided producers with enough information to evaluate the potential impacts of the proposed rule.

“On at least nine occasions … GIPSA sets forth a nominal cost-benefit analysis then proceeds to invite farmers and other stakeholders to provide ‘specific comments on additional categories of cost and benefit items as well as their magnitudes.’ In essence, the Department has asked producers to do its homework,” Skelton wrote.

“It is not fair to ask American farmers to run complex and potentially very costly calculations about GIPSA’s proposed rule when the Department’s economists and lawyers should have done that before soliciting public comment in the Federal Register. That is why I again ask the Department to examine GIPSA’s proposal and provide American farmers and their elected representatives in Congress with more precise economic data about it,” Skelton concluded.

To view Skelton’s letter, click here: The link to this document is: http://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/63690

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