On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued an unfavorable decision in our lawsuit challenging the USDA’s withdrawal of the Farmer Fair Practices Rules, also known as the GIPSA Rules. The court has denied our petition for review and will not force the USDA to implement the rules which would have removed obstacles that prevent farmers and ranchers from bringing action against meatpacking and poultry processing corporations over unfair business practices.
We are disappointed in the decision, as it continues to leave America’s farmers and ranchers at the mercy of the corporate giants that control the livestock market.
We filed our litigation just over a year ago with the pro bono legal representation of Democracy Forward. The Farmer Fair Practices Rules had been the result of a decade-long fight to restore strength to the Packers & Stockyards Act, which has been watered down by the courts since the early 2000’s allowing the largest meatpacking corporations in the world to exert undue dominance over America’s independent farmers and ranchers and contract poultry and hog growers. Our attorneys are now reviewing our legal options and we are looking at other avenues to protect America’s farmers and ranchers.
Time is of the essence. Just this month, USDA Secretary Perdue put the final nail in the coffin of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration by eliminating the agency and burying Packers & Stockyards Act enforcement in the big agribusiness friendly Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Then, JBS, the world’s largest beef processor, was given a mere slap on the wrist by AMS after its gross mishandling of beef carcasses, cheating cattle producers out of their payments.
We need your support now more than ever. We have a great opportunity to provide OCM with the necessary resources to continue our work next year. A generous OCM supporter has committed to match up to $50,000 for every dollar in contributions we receive through the end of the year. This means every dollar that is contributed to our efforts will be doubled. Now is the time to join us, renew your membership, or contribute however you can.
We will not stop fighting for America’s family farmers and ranchers and the rural communities where they live.
We wish you and yours the very best this holiday season and a brighter New Year.
-Organization for Competitive Markets
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Organization For Competitive Markets
P.O. Box 6486
Lincoln, NE 68506