NSAC's Blog

Vilsack Responds to Letter from Representatives on GIPSA Rule

October 22, 2010

On October 1, 115 House members submitted a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting additional economic analysis of the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule.  Earlier this week, Vilsack responded to the representatives, assuring them that the regular process of rulemaking would take place and all the rulemaking requirements are being met, but telling them not to expect anything beyond that.

The GIPSA rule would spark major pro-competition and fairness reforms in the livestock and poultry markets.  It is being opposed vigorously by “Big Four” meatpackers, Tyson Foods, JBS, Cargill, and National Beef, and by the industry-related trade associations.  To read NSAC’s original analysis of the rule in August, click here.

In his letter, Vilsack insisted that USDA had taken every appropriate measure to gauge public response to the rule, and had even extended the comment period to 150 days to allow for more comments.  Vilsack also pointed out that USDA had already conducted a cost-benefit analysis as required in the rule-making process.

“Just as you do, I want a workable, feasible, and commonsense rule,” Vilsack wrote.  In response to the representatives’ assertion that “the analysis contained in the proposed rule fails to demonstrate the need for the rule, assess the impact of its implementation on the marketplace, or establish how the implementation of the rule would address the demonstrated need,” Vilsack countered that the proposed rule “is a first step in an important process that will include serious consideration of the public comments and further cost-benefit analysis based on these comments.”

To read Vilsack’s response letter to the Representatives, click here.

Categories: Competition & Anti-trust

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