Opposition to fair play rule raised – again

Meat industry representatives claim GIPSA could lead to a 'cascade of litigation'

US poultry industry representatives have redoubled opposition to government proposals scrapping the need for farmers to prove competition harm in order to claim compensation.

The National Chicken Council fears the resultant increased litigation could cost the sector more than $1bn. It has again pressed the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to scrap the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA) final rule on competitive injury in notes sent to the government.

In comments submitted to the government NCC president Mike Brown said: “Even by GIPSA’s own estimates, which we believe understate costs, the interim final rule promises to inflict approximately $1bn in economic harm on the meat and poultry industries, with no quantifiable benefit.

GIPSA had “failed” to offer sound reasons for introducing the “burdensome, expensive changes to the poultry industry,” said Brown. He added that the agency had not considers the impact of the rule on “consumers and competition.

Rule is ‘incompatible’ with Trump agenda

In a statement about the comment, Brown said: “We urge GIPSA to pursue Option 4 and withdraw the interim final rule once and for all.

Furthermore, because the interim final rule is inextricably related to GIPSA’s two proposed rules on poultry grower ranking systems and unfair practices and undue preferences, we request the agency withdraw these two proposed rules as well.

The NCC wants the final rule withdrawn for two key reasons.

First, it claimed the final rule would set aside decades of settled legal cases and eliminate the requirement to prove a likelihood of competitive injury. This would open the industry up to a cascade of litigation under the Packers and Stockyards Act, according to the NCC and other US meat trade bodies.

Secondly, the NCC believe the rulemaking is “incompatible” with US President Donald Trump’s regulatory agenda of eliminating burdensome regulations on industry. For these two reasons the NCC is one again calling for the withdrawal of the GPISA rule, after calling for it to be axed in May 2017 and December 2016.

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