Rep. Ike Skelton (R-MO) has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reconsider conducting a comprehensive economic study of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) proposed livestock procurement rule.

USDA’s recent denial of a request by more than one-quarter of the House of Representatives was deemed inadequate.

“While I appreciate receiving the department’s prompt response, the correspondence does not adequately address our primary request to USDA. Rather, it indicates that the department has already conducted, in its view, a sufficient cost-benefit analysis…” Skelton wrote in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

In his review of the proposal, Skelton says he did not believe that the cost-benefit analysis in the Federal Register provided producers with enough information to evaluate the potential impacts of the proposed rule.

“On at least nine occasions…GIPSA sets forth a nominal cost-benefit analysis, then proceeded to invite farmers and other stakeholders to provide ‘specific comments on additional categories of cost and benefit items as well as their magnitudes.’ In essence, the department has asked producers to do its homework,” Skelton says.

“It is not fair to ask American farmers to run complex and potentially very costly calculations about GIPSA’s proposed rule when the department’s economists and lawyers should have done that before soliciting public comment in the Federal Register. That is why I again ask the department to examine GIPSA’s proposal and provide American farmers and their elected representatives in Congress with more precise economic data about it,” Skelton concludes.