USDA is “plowing ahead” with trying to finalize the rule on production and marketing of livestock and poultry proposed by its Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), paying no attention to the concerns of producers, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) says.

USDA has also rebuffed congressional requests for an independent review of the cost-benefit analysis it is conducting to examine the costs of the rule, Lucas said.  “Unfortunately, the department has turned away requests to perform an independent peer review on the cost benefit analysis, or publish it for comment,” Lucas said in comments on the GIPSA rule controversy. “It has become clear that instead of using a cost-benefit analysis to aid in decision-making, USDA will simply publish the final rule and include a cost-benefit report at that point.”

“This is not good government,” Lucas said. “USDA is plowing ahead with its own agenda, ignoring the concerns of producers and refusing to adhere to requests for legitimate policy analysis.”  Lucas noted that members of Congress are very concerned with ways to improve government spending policies. Cost-benefit analyses are critical to determining how much the proposed rule will cost, who will bear the costs, and what will be gained, he said.

“It is particularly important that we carefully and thoroughly consider the potential consequences of this rule,” Lucas said. “I do not believe that USDA has fulfilled that responsibility. Despite the repeated concerns voiced by producers, USDA has failed to conduct a timely cost-benefit analysis on the proposed rule.”