A long awaited proposed rule announced today by the USDA may limit pork producers’ options in selling pigs to processors, according to the National Pork Producers Council. NPPC is carefully reviewing the proposed changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act contained in the 2008 Farm Bill.
 
Among numerous changes to the law, the proposed rule, which will be published June 22, would redefine what constitute an “undue or unreasonable preference or advantage” in a livestock contract.
 
“NPPC is carefully reviewing the proposal because we don’t want to see producer marketing options limited by overly broad government regulations that negatively impact pork producers’ bottom line,” said NPPC President Sam Carney, a pork producer from Adair, Iowa.
 
The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration will consider comments on the proposed rule until August 23, 2010.

In addition, the American Meat Institute expressed concern about the USDA proposal. "USDA is attempting to turn the clock back on the livestock and meat marketing practices that have made the U.S. meat production system the envy of the world and that have delivered the most abundant and affordable meat products available to the American consumer," said AMI Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel Mark Dopp, in a statement to Meatingplace.

"Courts have affirmed that our industry is dynamic and competitive and have rejected USDA's arguments repeatedly," he said. "Now, in the face of repeated judicial rejection of their arguments, USDA is engaging in a regulatory end-run and attempting to change the law through administrative fiat. This is not an appropriate role for the Department to play and could potentially cause harm and enormous disruption."

Source: NPPC, Meatingplace