While opponents of traditional family farming in Congress have blocked implementation of the Grain Inspection and Stockyards Protection Administration rule from the 2008 Farm Bill, the National Farmers Union has continued to lobby for full implementation of the rule which would add transparency and more competition to U.S. markets.
NFU and others got a boost recently when eight members of Congress sent USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack a letter renewing calls to finish the rule making on GIPSA.
That process could proceed more smoothly at USDA now that the anti-GIPSA riders have been removed from recent spending bills.
“Producers and consumers alike benefit from competitive and transparent markets… Deceptive, fraudulent, retaliatory, and anti-competitive practices have no place in a well-functioning market, and we need to have sound rules of the road to protect consumers, livestock producers and poultry growers in increasingly concentrated market environments,” the lawmakers stated in the letter.
Ohio’s own U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, signed the letter to Vilsack with three other representatives and four senators. You can read the letter here.
The GIPSA rule was included in the 2008 Farm Bill to mitigate abusive contracting and marketing practices in the highly concentrated livestock and poultry sectors. However, lawmakers repeatedly blocked the USDA from actually implementing the law through an annual appropriations rider until late last year when that rider was omitted from the congressional appropriations omnibus bill.
USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Ed Avalos agreed to take “a very well-balanced approach” to finalizing the GIPSA rule during his testimony today before the House Agriculture Committee. Secretary Vilsack delivered a similar message at the NFU annual convention last week, when he said finishing work on the GIPSA rule would be a priority during the remainder of his tenure.