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NCBA Applauds Delay Of GIPSA’s Interim Final Rule

The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) announced that it is delaying the effective date of its interim final rule to October 19, 2017. This decision was applauded by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

“This is another step toward common sense and away from counterproductive government intrusion in the free market,” says 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.”

On December 20, 2016, two proposed rules and one interim final rule were unveiled. The interim final rule on the scope of the Packers and Stockyards Act and the proposed rule related to undue preference and unjust treatment would have a direct negative impact on the cattle industry.  

The systems that are currently in place, which allow producers to market cattle as they see fit, reward them for producing high-quality beef consumers demand. Under the interim final rule, USDA and/or producers no longer need to prove true economic harm. Instead, they only need to say that they were treated unfairly to file a lawsuit that could discourage cattlemen from continuing to invest in improving beef quality.

“Trial lawyers are salivating at the prospect of this rule becoming the law of the land,” says Uden. “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 not only to be delayed but also to be killed outright.”

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