U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has said the agency plans to conduct a more thorough cost-benefit analysis of the livestock marketing rules proposed by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).

The announcement stems from comments a USDA spokesman made on a teleconference call to stakeholders that reflected a letter sent in October to Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), in response to Peterson’s request for further economic study.

Meatingplace reported the announcement and obtained a copy of the letter in which Vilsack said, “Beyond the cost-benefit analysis we have conducted for the proposed rule, we look forward to reviewing the public comments to inform the department if all factors have been properly considered, if or how changes should be incorporated, and to add more rigorous cost-benefit and related analyses pursuant to the rulemaking process.”

Vilsack wouldn’t speculate how long the review process would take, but said the rule as published June 22 was a draft and could be extensively altered before being finalized, the National Chicken Council (NCC) reported in a news release after Monday’s teleconference.

In comments submitted by the Nov. 22 deadline, industry groups sharply criticized the lack of an extensive economic analysis on the proposed GIPSA rule.

“A serious and robust analysis of the economic impact of the proposed GIPSA rule is long overdue,” says NCC Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Bill Roenigk. “The rule will have a profound, far-reaching and costly impact on the poultry and livestock industries, and it should not have been put forth without an appropriate analysis of its impact on farmers and ranchers, industry and consumers.”

A study commissioned by the American Meat Institute placed the cost of the GIPSA rule at $14 billion in gross domestic product and $1.36 billion in lost tax revenue.