The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today submitted official comments on behalf of its membership to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) regarding its proposed rule on livestock and poultry marketing. Colin Woodall, NCBA vice president of government affairs, says the comments submitted to USDA represent a thorough review of the potential consequences the proposed rule will have on the U.S. beef cattle industry.
“This rule we think is government at its absolute worst,” Woodall says. “The liability changes in this rule are going to open up the cattle marketplace to trial attorneys and we’re going to have a situation where we have trial attorneys, the court system and USDA dictating what a fair price is for an animal and that’s just unacceptable.”
Listen to or download some GIPSA comments from Colin here: Colin Woodall
NCBA, along with other producer organizations that will be affected by the rule, recently released a economic impact study by Informa Economics which found that rule would result in ongoing direct and indirect costs to the livestock and poultry industries – eventually borne by producers and consumers – of more than $1.64 billion, including nearly $880 million to the beef industry. (Read report here)
Listen to Rob Murphy with Informa explain the results of the study: Informa GIPSA Study
According to NCBA, provisions in the proposed rule causing the most concern for cattlemen and women include: eliminating the requirement that a plaintiff establish injury to competition in order to prove a claim under Section 202 of the PSA, purport to define “competitive injury” and the likelihood thereof, and declare that specific acts or practices are “unfair, unjustly discriminatory or deceptive under Section 202; suggesting the factors which may establish an undue or unreasonable preference under Section 202(b) of the PSA; prohibiting sales of livestock by a packer to another packer or its affiliates; and requiring the production and publication of all cattle marketing and production contracts.
The comment period for the proposed rule ends November 22. Over 24,000 comments have been submitted so far and it is very easy to do – just click here and type in your contact info and comments and it goes right to the Federal Register.