Fifty-six farm, ranch, consumer and rural organizations sent a joint letter today to J. Dudley Butler, Administrator, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). The letter urges Butler to “deny any requests for an extension of time beyond the original 60-day public comment period established in the proposed rule, ‘Implementation of Regulations Required Under Title XI of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008; Conduct in Violation of the Act” (Proposed Rule).’”
The joint letter states in part:
“It is our understanding that you have received requests from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the American Meat Institute (AMI) and the National Pork Producers Council for a 120-day extension of the public comment period scheduled to close August 23, 2010. If granted, such an extension of the public comment period would unduly delay implementation of the specific reforms mandated by Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill. In addition, any delay would facilitate the continuation of inappropriate market behavior by dominant market participants in the cattle, swine, sheep and poultry industries. It is our strong conviction that GIPSA must continue to work expeditiously, and without delay, to timely promulgate a final rule after the August 23 public comment deadline for the Proposed Rule. This, we believe, is critical so that we can begin the process of returning to independent livestock and poultry producers a properly functioning, competitive marketplace.
“We firmly believe the 60-day public comment period established in the 17-page Proposed Rule provides ample time to fully assess and evaluate the succinct provisions contained therein. We further believe the provisions contained in the Proposed Rule are tremendously important to the goal of reestablishing equity between disaggregated U.S. livestock and poultry producers and the highly concentrated meatpacking industries . . . we respectfully request that GIPSA hold firm its original 60-day public comment period for the Proposed Rule.”
R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard said the joint letter demonstrates widespread support for GIPSA’s proposed rule. “Rural America has waited for decades for GIPSA to begin meaningful enforcement of the nearly 90-year-old Packers and Stockyards Act established to protect independent farmers and ranchers from unfair and deceptive practices by market-dominating meatpackers. This proposed rule is an essential first step in restoring lost competition and we’re not surprised that dominant meatpacker are trying to delay any reforms that would limit their unjust advantage in U.S. livestock markets. We hope GIPSA will see through these efforts and work quickly to finalize this important rule.”
To read the complete letter, click here.
Source: R-CALF USA
Posted by Kaci Switzer