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House Spending Measure Halts 'GIPSA Rule'

Thursday, June 16, 2011

(American Meat Institute)House lawmakers today approved an agriculture funding bill that would prevent the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from finalizing its proposed regulation on livestock and poultry marketing contracts.
 
The House voted 217-203 to pass legislation that funds USDA, the Food and Drug Administration and related agencies for fiscal year 2012, which begins Oct. 1, but denies money for USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) to promulgate the livestock and poultry marketing regulation.
 
Known as the GIPSA rule, the regulation was prompted by the 2008 Farm Bill.  But, as 147 House members recently pointed out in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the proposed rule goes well beyond the intent of Congress and includes provisions specifically rejected during debate on the Farm Bill.  Lawmakers also criticized USDA’s failure to conduct an in-depth economic impact study of the proposal before it was published.
 
AMI joined livestock and poultry groups expressing strong support for the House action.
 
“We appreciate the House of Representatives’ recognition that the proposed GIPSA rule is a costly and misguided regulation that ignores its congressional mandate and court rulings from across the land,” AMI President J. Patrick Boyle said. “We hope that the Senate will take the same action so that USDA will do what it appears reluctant to do: write a rule that is consistent with congressional intent and that will not force meat and poultry companies and livestock producers across the country to dismantle the model that has made our U.S. meat and poultry production system competitive and the envy of the world.”
 
A study by John Dunham and Associates estimated that the proposal would cost $14 billion and eliminate 104,000 jobs.   Those findings are available at www.MeatFuelsAmerica.com/GIPSA.  

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