In June 2010, the U.S. government provided some simple clarifications to the law that governs the relationship between livestock producers and the meatpackers and processors who buy their animals. The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Rule, would help to ensure fairness for individual producers and restore competition to agricultural markets.


In June 2010, the U.S. government provided some simple clarifications to the law that governs the relationship between livestock producers and the meatpackers and processors who buy their animals. The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Rule, would help to ensure fairness for individual producers and restore competition to agricultural markets.

It protects the basic rights of family farmers. The rule prevents packers and processors from driving farmers and ranchers out of business one at a time, and it protects producers who speak out against unfair business practices. Farmers, ranchers and consumers overwhelmingly support the Rule, as do the two largest general farm organizations in the country, the National Farmers Union being one of them.

What does this mean to you, the consumer? One recent example is the salmonella outbreak in eggs that occurred in 2010. Those eggs were marketed under at least 16 different brands that all originated from two factory farms owned by the same individual. If packers and processors successfully kill the GIPSA rule, you can look forward to more production being concentrated in the hands of a few mega-farms and the increased possibility that you may someday be eating tainted food from the same farm as schoolchildren in California or a family in Maine.

I leave it to you to decide who to believe: the largest meatpackers in the country, who made billions in profits last year, or two million American family farmers and ranchers?