WASHINGTON – Several groups representing poultry industry interests submitted comments opposing proposed US Department of Agriculture acquisition regulations.

The regulations in question would require federal contractors to certify that they, their subcontractors and suppliers are in compliance with federal labor laws. The proposed rule would also require federal contractors to report contracting officers when formal allegations or formal findings of non-compliance with labor laws are determined.

The National Chicken Council, the National Turkey Federation and US Poultry & Egg Association said the proposed rule “is inconsistent with existing laws and will impose a regulatory burden and potential liability on federal contractors disproportionate to its purported benefits, which at best duplicate existing legal responsibilities and, at worst, expose contractors to uncontrollable liability, while denying US taxpayers their money’s worth in federal acquisitions."

The group's additional concerns included:

  • Due process violations;
  • Free-speech protections;
  • Groundless allegations; and
  • Liability and conspiracy issues.

"This amendment should be withdrawn," the comments concluded. "Alternatively, USDA should conduct a full notice-and-comment proceeding, including public hearings, to develop the public record before this regulation is adopted. NCC, NTF and USPOULTRY are confident that if the public understands the full implications of the proposed rule change, this amendment will not be adopted."

Click here to see a copy of the full comments.