By Stewart Doan
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
Washington, Oct. 21 – USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) proposed livestock procurement rule, if implemented, could cost 104,000 Americans their jobs and reduce the national GDP by $14 billion, according to a study commissioned by the American Meat Institute (AMI).
The study, available online at www.meatfuelsamerica.com/GIPSA, found that the disruption and resulting inefficiencies in the market should the rule be implemented would increase retail meat prices by 3.33 percent at a national level, causing a 1.68 percent decrease in consumer demand for potentially lower quality meat and poultry products.
“This government intervention will dismantle 20 years of progress that has helped the U.S. meat and poultry industry to deliver the safest, most affordable meat and poultry supply in the world,” said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle. “As our study shows, this protectionist policy proposal would do nothing but harm Americans who work every day to put food on our tables.”
The study’s findings also highlight the fact that livestock producers would be especially affected by the implementation of this rule, losing as many as 21,274 jobs, many in rural America.
This new study is the first to quantify the proposal’s potential impact, AMI said.
Steve Fogelsong, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said it is unfortunate that this study was even conducted but USDA left no choice. USDA did not conduct a comprehensive economic analysis and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week indicated to 115 members of Congress calling for an economic study that one will not be conducted until the public comment period on the proposed marketing reforms ends on Nov. 22.
“Why wouldn’t USDA want to do an economic analysis?” Foglesong asked. “This country is facing record unemployment and this Administration seems determined to surpass their own record and send even more Americans to the unemployment lines. I encourage anyone concerned about this economy, rural America and safe and affordable food to tell USDA to pull this rule.”
For other reaction to the GIPSA rule and Sec. Vilsack's letter to congressmen about the rule, go to: www.agri-pulse.com/20101020D_Vilsack_Lucas_NCBA_R-CALF_GIPSA_Rule.asp
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