We have now entered a critical phase in our long-running efforts to reform GIPSA regulations to ensure fairness for livestock farmers.
Now we need you to join us in submitting comments to the USDA by June 12th! More info is below along with updates on where things stand.
During the past year, comments have been collected to determine the content of the long-awaited interim final rule (IFR). Now, the rule has been finalized, but another comment period has been created to determine the fate of the IFR, in its current form. The options presented include: allow the IFR to become effective, suspend the IFR indefinitely, delay the effective date of the IFR, or withdraw the IFR.
This current comment period is so critical because it represents another effort to scrap the IFR, in favor of the current regulatory system. Now, more than ever, we need to stand united on this issue. We must present a wide range of opinions, representing stakeholders at all levels. The IFR supports family farmers by providing them effective avenues of redress against their integrator, and harmful & deceitful industry practices.
If we are ever to achieve our common goal of reforming our food system, we must stand by family farmers and the IFR. As such, we are asking all RAFI partners to share this information with their staff, members, loved ones, or anyone concerned with the state of our current food system. We are hoping that by bringing this issue to light, we will motivate people to submit a short comment urging the USDA to allow the implementation of the IFR.
We want to take the time to thank everyone involved in this effort but stress that this struggle is not finished. We thank you for your efforts, and hope that you will continue supporting this cause.
For your convenience, we have included some sample language that may be used, or adapted, to comment on the GIPSA IFR. That language, as well as, the submission link and details are found below:
Link to Submit GIPSA Comments by June 12thOr you may mail in your comment to:
M. Irene Omade, GIPSA, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 2542A-S, Washington, DC, 20250-3613
*Note* If you choose to write in a comment, please ensure to make reference to the date and page number of the issue of the Federal Register: 9 CFR Part 201, Federal Register Number 201707361, posted on April 12, 2017
Dear M. Irene Omade, GIPSA, USDA:
I am writing to urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to let the Interim Final Rule on Competitive Injury to become effective immediately. This long-overdue, but essential, rule takes important steps to ensure that ranchers and farmers are treated fairly and have some safeguards against unfair buying and marketing practices from meatpackers.
The competitive injury rule would make clear that ranchers contesting unfair meatpacker contracting and buying practices do not have to prove harm to the whole market to prove a practice is unfair. The Packers & Stockyards Act was designed to protect farmers from all unfair treatment by the companies, not just anticompetitive practices.
This commonsense protection has been stalled at USDA for too long, and needs to be in place and enforced. The competitive injury rule is necessary to restore fairness for producers seeking justice under the Packers and Stockyards Act. I urge USDA to let the rule become effective On October 19.
Thank you for this opportunity to provide comments on this important rule.