7. GIPSA proposed rules

This is a result of what was contained in the 2008 farm bill rewrite.

“Under the 2008 farm bill, the USDA was tasked with the job of coming up with some new rules and regulations under the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA). What the rules are designed to do in large part, is to clarify conduct that the PSA covers and allow for more effective and efficient enforcement by the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).

“The proposed rules – and they cover a lot of ground – that are primarily the most controversial, are the parts that would clarify conditions for industry compliance with the PSA and deal with the type of conduct and what has to be proven to establish the violation of anti-competitive covered by the act. The rules have been opened up for comments, comments have been submitted. They haven’t been finalized yet.

“A lot of trade organizations are against the rules. A lot of packers are also against the rules.

“Basically, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack tried, by rulemaking, to overturn (court) opinions on … what has to be proven to establish anti-competitive conduct under the PSA.

“That’s normally not the way we do things in the United States. We don’t try to overturn court opinions by an administrative regulatory body rewriting the rules. If we’re upset with court opinions, we get Congress to rewrite the statute. That’s at the core, the crux, with respect to the GIPSA rules.”