GIPSA Rules Ruffle Feathers

Dec 16, 2016  | 2 min  | Ep4217

Some lawmakers are concerned concentration in the meat packing industry makes price discovery less competitive.

This week, USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration tried to solve the problem and produced a firestorm of criticism.  

Paul Yeager has the details.

America’s livestock and poultry producers have three new rules to ponder this holiday season. The first would look at the poultry grower ranking or tournament system and is considered unfair outside of legitimate business justification.

A second regulation change would further clarify what constitutes unfair practices and extends to helping producers with marketing contracts.

The 3rd rule, an interim, under consideration would lower the threshold for suing meat companies as farmers would not need to prove an industry maleficence, just the impact to their own operation.

The National Chicken Council’s president Mike Brown said the rules, “could lead to rigid, one-size-fits-all requirements on chicken growing contracts that would stifle innovation, lead to higher costs for consumers, and cost jobs by forcing the best farmers out of the chicken business.”

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association labeled GIPSA’s rules as troubling for the industry in marketing animals and would open the floodgates to litigation.

The heads of the House and Senate Agricultural Committees, both Republicans, cried fowl along with the National Pork Producers Council.  

The NPPC cited the rules as politically motivated -- saying the USDA responded quote “in an apparent attack on rural America for its role in helping elect Donald Trump as president.“

Secretary Vilsack fired back calling the NPPC’s comments “absolutely absurd,” and were all about what’s fair to producers.

The decision did not ruffle all feathers as the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union and R-CALF-USA applauded the deal.

Barack Obama had 37 days left in office as the time of the release. The 60 day comment period opens immediately.

For Market to Market, I’m Paul Yeager. 

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