USDA announced a 90-day extension to the comment period on the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) “undue preferences rule” that would place certain restrictions on how livestock are marketed. The proposal published June 22, 2010, with a 60-day comment period.
As a result of the extension, comments will now be due by November 22, 2010. In announcing the extension, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Edward Avalos acknowledged the many requests for and against extensions of the comment period. AMI President J. Patrick Boyle, who had requested a 120-day extension called the move a step in the right direction given the size and scope of the rule, but one that should have gone further.
While AMI appreciated the additional time, the new deadline preceded USDA’s final public meeting on competition issues schedule for December – a meeting that was extremely important in determining public views on this issue, Boyle said. Had the full 120 days been granted, the public meeting would have preceded the comment deadline and allowed all interested parties the full benefit of the public discourse in formulating their comments.
Boyle also expressed to appreciation to House and Senate leaders who sent letters to USDA encouraging an extension to the comment period. Seventeen Senators wrote to the Secretary July 21 and expressed concern that the government was missing a unique opportunity to hear directly from the various stakeholders with its short comment deadline that precedes key public meetings and urged USDA to extend the comment period beyond the December 6th public meeting in Washington, DC.
Source: AMI - American Meat Institute