Tuesday, July 17, 2012

GIPSA-Lite Axed -- Again!

GIPSA-Lite Axed—Again! 

Remember the GIPSA rule, the Obama administration’s ill-starred attempt to rewrite how livestock are bought and sold?

The draft regulation triggered such an avalanche of criticism the administration ended up adopting a much-scaled-back version dubbed GIPSA-Lite. Then Congress, acting on its annual Agriculture Department appropriations bill, blocked the department from spending money to implement much of what was left.

And now the House Agriculture Committee has voted to scrap implementation of the regulation completely. 

Working on the 2012 farm bill Wednesday night, the committee adopted an amendment offered by Reps. Michael Conaway (R-Texas) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.) that prevents GIPSA—the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration—from further work implementing the much-disliked regulation.

The committee also adopted an amendment requiring USDA to report how it will comply with a World Trade Organization ruling that country-of-origin labeling of meat products in this country discriminates against Canada and Mexico.

Whether either amendment survives the legislative process remains to be seen. With both Republicans and Democrats dissatisfied with parts of the House committee’s farm bill, it’s doubtful the measure will even reach the House floor before the November elections. If passed, it would need to be matched with a Senate bill that includes neither the GIPSA amendment nor the country-of-origin labeling language.

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