USDA Finalizes GIPSA Rule

8 11 2011

Press Release Courtesy of Kansas Cattlemen’s Association

Last Friday, USDA announced that it has submitted the final GIPSA rule to the Office of Budget and Management.  Encompassing four of the provisions that were included in the 2008 Farm Bill, the final rule will help to protect poultry producers in relation to delivery of birds, additional capital investment criteria, breach of contract and arbitration.  The actual details of the rule have not been made available to the public, but Kansas Cattlemen’s Association has been notified that the final GIPSA rule does not take into consideration any cattlemen’s related issues including the ban on packer to packer sales, sample contracts, and a requirement to maintain records in order to justify the price paid for cattle.
The Farm Bill provision excluded from the final rule is the definition of unfair practices and undue preference.  USDA has postponed action on this provision.  However, because this is a requirement in the 2008 Farm Bill, USDA will be obliged to define those key components that are important to all livestock industries.
Paul Acton, President of KCA commented, “Some days you feel that the light at the end of the tunnel is a train, the one driven by the multinational packer interest that is fueled by our money and our risk, the one that devotes huge resources to laying track over American Democracy with well-heeled political lackeys to survey the line.  GIPSA is not dead from the standpoint of the beef industries.  If USDA wants a definition, then it will be received from producer organizations like R-CALF USA, KCA or USCA as well as others. We will give them what they ask for in response to these delay tactics. At some point in time, our government must realize that we are still based on the rule of the majority of people not dollars lobbied. Our government officials must not continue to brush off the majority as a mob that doesn’t know what is best for them.   In pursuit of the moneyed interests in Washington, we can expect to see the 2012 Farm Bill as a means of killing GIPSA and COOL(country of origin labeling) in the good name of budget cuts. As producers and consumers, we need to stand up for what we want more than ever. I am asking you to do that by staying abreast of these issues and supporting the organizations that are on the front lines. The place to start is to try and find out what is happening in regards to Farm Bill discussions. When you can’t, I would like to present this issue to you as ‘exhibit A’. They are handling things behind closed doors, and we don’t want GIPSA or COOL to be addressed without our representation.  We are involved; KCA will continue to be involved, and we hope you will stay involved as well.”
The final rule is expected to be enforced within the next 100 days.  USDA has stated that it will review the provision relating to competitive injury as well as the provision to define unfair practices and undue preference.  No timeline has been given.

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