The Ag spending bill does not provide funding for implementation of the proposed GIPSA Final Rule announced last week by USDA. A separate funding bill may cover the cost but the issue had not been addressed as of late Friday. Going past funding, several key area of concern did not find their way into the GIPSA proposal. One such concern is clarification of the definition of “competitive injury” and “likelihood of competitive injury”.
Currently, in order to make his case, a producer must prove that a packer’s anti-competitive practices damaged the entire marketplace. Much of the industry thinks a clarification should make it possible for a producer to only have to prove that his or her operation was hurt by such actions. USDA did not address this issue in the proposal Final rule. If funded, and once the rule goes into effect, and as more of these issues come to light, more debate can be expected and more efforts made to address these issues in future rules.