WASHINGTON – Twelve senators have urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to make good on a pledge that a "far more rigorous cost-benefit analysis [CBA] will be conducted" on the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) livestock marketing rule. The American Meat Institute relays.

"We are hopeful that the US Department of Agriculture is now on the path to conducting a thorough, comprehensive CBA, which will provide the kind of information that is necessary to understand the potential consequences of this rule," wrote the senators in a letter to Vilsack.

They noted this announcement leads to several relevant questions including:

  • To what extent will the USDA Chief Economist Joseph Glauber and the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) be involved?
  • To what extent will the Office of Information at the White House Office of Management and Budget be involved?
  • What is the scope of the CBA that will be conducted?
  • Could the rule actually lead to decreased competition and fewer markets for American producers to market their livestock?

"Given the significance of the potential impacts of the proposed rule on livestock and poultry producers, processors and consumers, it is essential that we proceed with the best information we can, including a thorough and comprehensive CBA conducted by the OCE, aided by an impartial, external peer review," the letter concluded.