Cattlewoman testifies on effects of proposed GIPSA rule
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform recently hosted a hearing called "How A Broken Process Leads To Flawed Regulations." Representing the livestock industry was Robbie LeValley, co-owner, Homestead Meats and member of the board of directors for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. She told the committee about the potential impact of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's proposed livestock marketing regulation--the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration rule). Specifically, LeValley denounced big government invading the private marketplace.
"Value-based marketing has given our family business the opportunity to compete for market share at the highest level," said LeValley, a third generation Colorado cattlewoman who sells beef directly to consumers. "We do not need big government setting up shop on our farms and ranches. Government intrusion into the private marketplace is not the answer."
She told the committee that USDA did not conduct a cost/benefit analysis before proposing the rule. NCBA, the National Pork Producers Council and other groups commissioned an independent analysis by Informa Economics, which concluded the rule would result in the loss of more than 23,000 jobs and reduce the annual gross domestic product by $1.6 billion.
Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee Congressman Darrell Issa, R-CA, said LeValley's testimony revealed how the proposed GIPSA rule could dismantle the food production and supply markets. He said LeValley's testimony also called attention to the overall cost of this proposed rule.
"Government regulators set the rules, but working Americans and job creators pay the price for their implementation. GIPSA's proposed rule change under the Packers and Stockyards Act is a blatant attempt to regulate livestock marketing practices that could literally dismantle the food production and supply markets as we know them," said Issa. "This would mean higher prices and fewer options for consumers, as well as impacts on food producers and firms at every point in the supply chain. GIPSA's rule was pursued with a woefully inadequate economic impact analysis. Today's hearing has called attention to this key issue and points out the price paid by producers, distributors and consumers."
NPPC President Doug Wolf said Chairman Issa's hearing again reinforced that the rulemaking process at USDA was flawed in the case of the proposed GIPSA rule. Wolf said livestock producers and consumers have the most to lose if the rule is implemented.
"Chairman Issa's hearing shows, as we have continually pointed out, that the rulemaking process for the GIPSA rule was flawed and that this major regulation is bad for farmers and ranchers, bad for consumers and bad for rural America," said Wolf. "It will raise producers' costs, increase meat prices and kill jobs."
LeValley urged the committee to help stop the proposed rule from being finalized.