House lawmakers in a letter sent late yesterday to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asked that an economic analysis of the agency’s proposed rule on buying and selling livestock and poultry be completed before the regulation becomes final.
The request was applauded by the National Pork Producers Council, which noted when the rule first was issued in mid-June the lack of such an analysis and which in its public comments on the regulation will demand that one be done.
The 2008 Farm Bill authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promulgate regulations under the Packers and Stockyards Act related to livestock and poultry contracts and marketing practices. The rule would be administered by USDA’s Grain
Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).
Signed by 115 members – 68 Republicans and 47 Democrats – the House letter pointed out that the rule “is sweeping in its scope and would have major consequences in the marketing of livestock and poultry for producers and processors of all sizes. In order for Congress and the public to evaluate this rule and its implications with full transparency, a thorough economic analysis is necessary.”
“It is imperative that producers know how much the GIPSA rule will cost them,” said NPPC President Sam Carney, a pork producer from Adair, Iowa. “Frankly, it’s unfathomable that a major regulation like this doesn’t have an analysis of its impact on the economy and jobs.”
NPPC has pointed out that the proposed rule goes well beyond the Farm Bill mandates and includes some provisions that were considered and dropped or rejected by Congress. The regulation is a “bureaucratic overreach,” the organization has said.
In a July hearing, a number of House Agriculture Committee members said USDA “overstepped its boundaries.” The majority of the panel’s lawmakers signed the Oct. 4 letter to Vilsack, which was championed by Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., Ranking Member Frank Lucas, R-Okla., Livestock Subcommittee Chairman David Scott, D-Ga., and subcommittee Ranking Member Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas. [Click here to read the letter.]