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TRUMP'S REGULATORY FREEZE PUTS HOLD ON "GIPSA," ORGANIC LIVESTOCK RULES
Source: National Pork Producers Council news release

Shortly after he was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump issued an order freezing federal regulations still in the rulemaking process and delaying for 60 days beyond their effective date those that recently took effect. Among the regulations put on hold are two of particular concern to NPPC: the Farm Fair Practices Rules and the organic livestock and poultry rule.

NPPC wants the rules, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to be rescinded. One of the regulations in the Farm Fair Practices Rules - also known as the GIPSA Rule (after USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration) - would broaden the scope of the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA) of 1921 related to the use of "unfair, unjustly discriminatory or deceptive practices" and "undue or unreasonable preferences or advantages."

Specifically, it would deem such actions inherent violations of federal law even if they didn't harm competition or cause competitive injury, prerequisites for winning PSA cases. NPPC and other livestock groups are concerned that the regulation would restrict the buying and selling of livestock, lead to consolidation of the livestock industry and increase consumer prices for meat.

It was set to take effect Feb. 21. The organic rule adds animal welfare standards to the nation's organic food production law. It would strictly dictate how organic producers must raise livestock and poultry, including during transport and slaughter, and specify, without scientific justification, which common practices are allowed and prohibited in organic livestock and poultry production, thereby eliminating producers' discretion to make sound decisions about animal care.

It also would establish unreasonable indoor and outdoor space requirements for animals. NPPC, which in July submitted comments in opposition to the regulation, said the welfare standards are not based on science and are outside the scope of the organic food production law, which limits consideration of livestock as organic to feeding and medication practices. Additionally, the organization pointed out, animal welfare is not unique to organic production.

Some of the standards even could jeopardize animal and public health, said NPPC in its comments to USDA. The provision on outdoor access, for example, is in conflict with best management practices to prevent swine diseases that pose a threat to animal and human health. The regulation was set to take effect March 20.


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