Friday, May 13, 2011

Vilsack Goal: Final GIPSA Rule by Fall

Poor Tom Vilsack. The Obama administration agriculture secretary just can’t seem to escape his department’s much-criticized rewrite of the rule for buying and selling livestock.

At a Capitol Hill hearing Thursday, California Democrat Jim Costa departed from topic at hand—trade—to tell Vilsack he remains “very concerned” about the massive regulation, known as the GIPSA rule. Costa asked if stakeholders would have another opportunity to comment once an economic analysis of the rule’s impact on farmers and ranchers is completed.

Vilsack answered by noting that the rule already had generated 66,000 comments, 30,000 of them “unique”—that is, not part of an orchestrated postcard or letter-writing campaign. Then he added, “Our hope is we get this (rule) done sometime this fall.”

In its testimony at the Thursday hearing, NPPC reiterated its call for USDA to accept comments on the economic analysis before it issues an interim or final version of the GIPSA rule.

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