Other Ag News: COMMENT: Administration Chooses Corporate Profit Over Family Farmers

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 12:27pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Reana Kovalcik, 202-547-5754, rkovalcik@sustainableagriculture.net

Administration Chooses Corporate Profit Over Family Farmers

This is truly a sad day for American farmers. Without the Farmer Fair Practices Interim Final Rule on competitive injury, it will be virtually impossible for family farmers to defend themselves against unfair, deceptive, and discriminatory practices by packers and poultry dealers. Farmers will lose even the most basic protections – protections that folks in any other profession would take as a given, like the ability to understand how their pay is calculated or the right to bring abusers to court without having to prove harm to an entire industry in the process. By withdrawing this rule, the Administration is leaving GIPSA toothless and telling American family farmers to sit quietly while it ushers forward the further consolidation and degradation of their industries. Adding insult to injury, the merits on which the Administration has based its withdrawal of the Interim Final Rule are flimsy at best – anyone familiar with this issue can see that the Department has taken its talking points directly from the packers and aggregators. The charges that this rule would lead to more consolidation, excessive litigation, and increased costs for producers are baseless. The decision to withdraw the rule is nothing more than a smokescreen to allow packers and integrators to further consolidate their power. The agribusinesses behind this decision are not interested in the fate of family farmers, in consumer choice, or in fairness. They are interested only in further increasing their own bottom lines, an interest this Administration seems to share.

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