The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Wednesday praised 147 members of the House of Representatives for urging Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to withdraw a proposed rule on buying and selling livestock and poultry. Instead, they suggested proposal of a regulation “more consistent with the intent of Congress outlined in the 2008 Farm Bill.”

The 2008 Farm Bill authorized USDA to promulgate regulations under the Packers and Stockyards Act to address five specific areas of livestock and poultry contracts. The rule would be administered by USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration and be known as the GIPSA rule.

House members also asked the secretary to require that revisions to the proposed rule and an economic analysis of the regulation be open for public comment “before a final or interim rule is published.”

“America’s pork producers are grateful to the nearly 150 House members who asked that the proposed GIPSA rule be withdrawn,” says NPPC President Doug Wolf, a pork producer from Lancaster, WI. “As written, the regulation would be bad for producers, bad for consumers and bad for rural America.

“In writing the GIPSA rule, USDA went well beyond what Congress asked it to do,” Wolf continues. “And the regulation it came up with will cost the U.S. pork industry nearly $400 million a year, limit farmers’ ability to sell animals, dictate the terms of private contracts, make it harder to get farm financing, raise consumer prices and reduce choices, stifle innovation and lead to more vertical integration of the pork industry.”

In their letter the lawmakers said: “It is troubling that the department appears to be using the rule-making process to accomplish objectives specifically rejected by Congress, and we are confident any such rule will not be looked upon favorably by Congress.”

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