The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has submitted comments to USDA on behalf of its membership, concerning the proposed rule on livestock and poultry marketing, as presented by USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration. NCBA vice president of government affairs, Colin Woodall, says comments, as submitted, represent a thorough review of the potential consequences the proposed rule will have on the U.S. beef cattle industry.
According to NCBA, provisions in the proposed rule causing the most concern for cattlemen and women include: eliminating the requirement that a plaintiff establish injury to competition in order to prove a claim, purport to define “competitive injury” and the likelihood thereof, and declare that specific acts or practices are “unfair, unjustly discriminatory or deceptive; suggesting the factors which may establish an undue or unreasonable preference; prohibiting sales of livestock by a packer to another packer or its affiliates; and requiring the production and publication of all cattle marketing and production contracts.
Woodall called the proposed rule - a pervasive invasion of government into private business. A report recently commissioned by several organizations in the meat industry, found that the rule would result in ongoing direct and indirect costs to the livestock and poultry industries – eventually borne by producers and consumers – of more than 1.64-billion dollars, including nearly 880-million to the beef industry.