Cattlemen Applaud Delay of GIPSA Rule, Call for Its Ultimate Demise
(April 11, 2017) -- The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
(NCBA) applauded today's announcement that the Grain Inspection, Packers
and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is delaying the effective date of its
interim final rule an additional six months to Oct. 19, 2017.
“This is another step toward common sense and
away from counterproductive government intrusion in the free market,” said NCBA
President Craig Uden. “That said, while a delay is welcome, ultimately this
rule should be killed and American cattle producers should be free to market
our beef without the threat of government-sanctioned frivolous lawsuits.”
Two proposed rules and one interim final rule came out on December 20, 2016,
one month before the end of the Obama Administration. The interim final rule
regarding the scope of the Packers and Stockyards Act and the proposed rule
regarding undue preference and unjust treatment have a direct negative impact
on the cattle industry.
Current systems that allow producers to market their cattle as they see fit
reward them for producing the higher-quality beef that consumers demand. Under
the interim final rule, USDA or a producer no longer needs to prove true
economic harm. Instead, one only needs to say that he or she was treated "unfairly"
to file a damaging lawsuit that could discourage cattlemen from continuing to
invest in improving the quality of beef being produced.
“Trial lawyers are salivating at the prospect of this rule becoming the law of
the land,” Uden said. “If this rule isn’t killed once and for all, cattle
producers will lose nearly all incentive to invest in the production of
higher-quality beef. That would mean less revenue for producers and lower
quality for consumers. That’s a lose-lose proposition and exactly why the rule
needs to not only be delayed – it needs to be killed outright.”