Last Chance to Oppose GIPSA Rule
WASHINGTON - Today, Nov. 22, 2010, is the last day for U.S. cattle producers to speak out against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s(GIPSA) proposed rule on livestock and poultry marketing. Last week, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) submitted comments on behalf of its membership. However, NCBA, the largest and oldest national organization representing U.S. cattlemen and women, is encouraging all producers and interested parties to submit their own comments specific to their operations. Steve Foglesong, NCBA president and Illinois cattleman, said producers, cattle feeders and others involved in the U.S. beef industry need to oppose the rule.
“This regulation would, among other things, restrict marketing agreements between producers and meat packers, dictate the terms of production contracts, require additional paperwork, create legal uncertainty and limit producers’ ability to negotiate better prices for the animals they sell,” said Foglesong. “This rule would stymie innovation and roll the clock back on this industry. In the end, producers and consumers lose.”
NCBA, along with other leading industry groups, commissioned Informa Economics to conduct a comprehensive economic analysis of the proposed rule. The Informa study concluded that the rule would result in substantial 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. The study concluded that 82 percent of the costs to the beef industry would fall on U.S. cattlemen and women. In addition, the study estimates the U.S. beef cattle herd would shrink by 494,000 head.
According to GIPSA, all comments must be mailed today to:
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C., 20250-3604
All comments sent electronically must be submitted by 12:00 a.m. EST. To e-mail comments using a template letter, beef cattle producers may do so at NCBA’s website. Additionally, comments can be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Comments can also be faxed to 202-690-2173.
“We need to oppose the proposed GIPSA rule on all fronts,” Foglesong said. “In addition to submitting comments to USDA, producers also need to contact their elected policymakers on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress talk a lot about growing the economy, and if they are serious about that, they should oppose this rule because it will have detrimental impacts throughout rural America.”