Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told meat industry officials Tuesday that USDA will conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the so called "GIPSA Rule" that would significantly change the way livestock is marketed in the United States if adopted. Vilsack declined to speculate how long the review process would take, but said the rule as published June 22 was a draft and could be extensively changed before being finalized.
National Chicken Council Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Bill Roenigk says an analysis of the rule is long overdue. He says the rule will have a profound, far-reaching and costly impact on the poultry and livestock industries, and it should not have been put forth without an appropriate analysis of its impact on farmers and ranchers, industry, and consumers.
A study commissioned by NCC pegged the cost to the broiler industry alone at more than $1 billion dollars over five years. A study commission by the American Meat Institute pegged the cost at $14 billion in GDP and $1.36 billion in lost tax revenue.
National Cattlemen's Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall says they aren’t surprised with USDA’s decision - since a study was clearly warranted.
"We're very pleased to see the Secretary has taken the action to really review these comments thoroughly," Woodall said. "That way we understand exactly what all the issues are from both sides. He also committed to put together some content teams to review this from a policy and legal perspective. He also committed to have Joe Glauber, the Chief Economist at USDA, do an economic review, which is something we've been after for quite some time. So the steps he lined out we think are definitely promising."