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GIPSA Comment Period Extended By 90 Days

27 July 2010

US - The US Department of Agriculture announced a 90-day extension to the comment period on the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) “undue preferences rule” that would place certain restrictions on how livestock are marketed. The proposal was published June 22, 2010, with an initial 60-day comment period.

As a result of the extension, comments will now be due by November 22, 2010.

In announcing the extension, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Edward Avalos acknowledged the many requests for and against extensions of the comment period and said, “We take these requests very seriously. We feel it is important that producers and other stakeholders have adequate time to comment on the proposed rule.”

American Meat Institute President J. Patrick Boyle, who had requested a 120-day extension (http://www.meatami.com/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/60688), called the move “a step in the right direction” given the size and scope of the rule, but one that should have gone further.

“While we appreciate the additional time, the new deadline precedes USDA’s final public meeting on competition issues schedule for December – a meeting that officials indicated in Congressional testimony this week is extremely important in determining public views on this issue,” he said. “Had the full 120 days been granted, the public meeting would have preceded the comment deadline and allowed all interested parties the full benefit of the public discourse in formulating their comments.”

Steve Foglesong, president of NCBA and an Illinois cattle producer, sent a letter to GIPSA Administrator J. Dudley Butler earlier this month to stress the need for additional time to thoroughly analyse the rule’s potential legal and economic impacts on US cattle producers. In the letter, Foglesong referred to language used by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack regarding the proposed rule.

“The Secretary of Agriculture referred to this as one of the most sweeping reforms of the Packers and Stockyards Act,” stated Mr Foglesong. “As such, it’s extremely important that we thoroughly understand the rule and both its intended, and unintended, consequences on the US cattle community.”

“As you move forward, we urge USDA to carefully consider the proper role and scope of federal regulation in this area and to actively listen to the concerns of everyone who will be impacted by this proposal,” the Senators said.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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