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Meat Institute Strongly Opposes USDA Efforts to Move Forward with GIPSA Rule

Friday, October 14, 2016
 

Interim Final Rule Circumvents Decisions of Eight, Separate Federal Appeals Courts

Washington, DC—Following the USDA decision to send an interim final Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the North American Meat Institute reiterated its concerns about the remarkably flawed proposal which research suggests would have a multi-billion dollar impact harming consumers, retailers, producers, meat packers and processors alike.

“It is irresponsible for USDA to advance this stale six year old rulemaking,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter. “The interim final rule as described will open a floodgate of litigation, up-end the established system for marketing cattle, pork, and poultry in the U.S., and add costs at every step along the process from producers to consumers.”

The interim final rule is in direct defiance of the will of Congress expressed in multiple appropriations measures and signed by the President, it directly circumvents the rulings of eight separate federal appeals courts and is strongly opposed by the largest producer groups in the country.

The Meat Institute and several producer groups had previously requested that USDA reopen the comment period on the 2010 proposed rules to permit additional, current comments based on today’s market conditions. The rules were originally published six years ago and in that time significant changes have occurred in the livestock, meat and poultry sector. New markets have emerged and there is enhanced competition for sourcing livestock for slaughter.

Similarly, demands from retail and foodservice customers for very specific animal handling and production requirements such as organic, grass fed, raised without antibiotics and others have created new marketing and business opportunities for poultry and livestock producers and their packer customers. The interim rule undermines these marketing agreements and impacts the availability of these products for consumers.

“Despite the Administration’s promises of transparency, USDA is dusting off a six year old proposal that was rejected by Congress through four funding bills, and is foisting an interim final rule on the meat and poultry industry without any meaningful comment process or input from the industry most impacted. This represents Washington, DC, bureaucracy at its worst,” said Carpenter.

For more on the potential impact of the GIPSA rules, here are some resources:

Livestock Marketing Rule Summary

Key Facts About the Proposed GIPSA Rule

Case Studies on the Potential Consequences of the GIPSA Rule

Competition in the Livestock and Meat Industry: What the Courts Have Said

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