USDA Issues Guidance for Encouraging Strong Enforcement of the P&S Act

Last week the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a new Frequently Asked Questions page (made available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) webpage) that clarifies how the USDA will enforce the final rule released by the Trump Administration on “Undue and Unreasonable Preferences and Advantages,” under the Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S Act).

We at RAFI-USA applaud the creation of this set of guiding FAQs, which will serve to encourage strong enforcement of the P&S Act until the time the USDA is able to update those and other provisions through a series of three proposed rulemakings. 

The Trump administration finalized the “Undue and Unreasonable Preferences and Advantages” rule in December 2020 and it became effective in January 2021. RAFI-USA was concerned that the rule was written in a way that could create safe harbors for corporate meatpackers and integrators, but the USDA FAQ clarifies that the criteria in the rule “are not exhaustive and not determinative.”

We thank the USDA for its attention to Packers and Stockyards Act enforcement. Good enforcement and rulemaking are essential for protecting livestock producers and poultry growers from what are very common abusive practices. 

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