Laurel Masterson
Laurel Masterson 818 signatures

It’s Do or Die Time for the GIPSA Rule from Now Until May 31: Let’s Do!

It’s Do or Die Time for the GIPSA Rule from Now Until May 31: Let’s Do!

Background: The Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives released their version of the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill and it includes language to stop the GIPSA rule dead in its tracks. This action follows a joint letter sent last Wednesday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack signed by 122 Republican Congressmen and 25 Democrat Congressmen urging him to withdraw the GIPSA Rule.

The meatpackers have lined up their minions in Congress and they are doing exactly what they did to deprive U.S. cattlemen and U.S. consumers with country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for nearly seven years.

It’s business as usual in Congress – corporate greed trumping the wellbeing of the people.

The problem is there have not been enough phone calls and letters to Congress from real cattle producers and people who support real cattle producers to overcome the unbelievable lobbying effort by the packers, their trade associations (the American Meat Association (AMI) and the National Meat Association (NMA) and the trade associations that are suppose to represent producers but are controlled by the packers seated on their governing boards (the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

The agriculture subcommittee of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee will be making amendments to the agriculture provisions in the Fiscal Year 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill tomorrow (this is referred to as “committee mark-up”). The full U.S. House Appropriations Committee will do its committee mark-up on May 31, 2011.

Action: It’s do or die time right now. Either we stand silent and let the packers continue to capture what’s left of our competitive cattle market away from independent cattle producers – thus allowing the packers to “chickenize” our cattle industry through vertical integration, or, everyone of us must commit to calling as many U.S. Representatives in our respective states as we can to tell them under no uncertain terms to remove the following language from the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill:

Here’s the language that must be removed:

On Page 61, Lines 8-15 of the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill:

“SEC. 721. None of the funds made available by this or any other Act may be used to write, prepare, develop, or publish a final rule or an interim final rule in furtherance of, or otherwise to implement, the proposed rule entitled ‘‘Implementation of Regulations Required Under Title XI of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008; Conduct in Violation of the Act’’ (75 Fed. Reg. 35338 (June 22, 2010)).”

When you call your Representative, tell them not only to remove this language, but also, tell them you need someone in Congress to defend the interests of independent cattle producers against the powerful meatpackers and you want him/her to be that person.

This is serious, extremely serious. Here are some suggestions:

1. When you call your own U.S. Representative’s office, tell them you are a constituent and you want to talk directly to your Representative, not to a staff person.
2. Tell them to take your name and phone number so your Representative can call you back.
3. Ask the person who answered your call to read back your name and phone number so you know they wrote it down.

You can reach your Representative by calling the Capitol Switchboard and asking for him/her by name: 202-224-3121.

We have only until May 31, 2011 to defeat this unacceptable language in the House. Please make your calls this week.

Don’t forget to call your relatives, neighbors, business associates and friends to ask them to contact Congress as well.

Campaign closed

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