A new comprehensive economic analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed regulation found it would be bad for farmers and ranchers, bad for consumers and bad for rural America, reports the National Meat Association.

The study, released today and conducted by Informa Economics Inc. on behalf of the NMA, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the National Turkey Federation (NTF), showed that the rule would result in job losses of more than 22,800, with an annual drop in gross domestic product by as much as $1.56 billion and an annual loss in tax revenues of $359 million.

Rob Murphy, senior vice president at Informa Economics, said the impact will not be immediate. In fact, he said it may take two to three years to reach the levels projected in the study.

“Effects will have a very long tail. The affected industries will still be feeling an impact a decade or more into the future,” said Murphy. “All signs point to detrimental outcomes for small producers, the very ones the rule is designed to help.”

USDA’s regulation, which would be administered by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration and is known as the GIPSA rule, would restrict marketing agreements between producers and meat packers, dictate the terms of production contracts, require additional paperwork, create legal uncertainty and limit producers’ ability to negotiate better prices for the animals they sell, among other things, according to the food-animal groups.

“Well, we are talking about nearly $1 billion in direct and indirect annual new costs for the beef industry. And if this study is correct that 82 percent of these costs will fall on U.S. cattle producers like me, then we will see a lot for sale signs in rural America,” said NCBA President-Elect Bill Donald, a third-generation Montana rancher. “If the beef industry losses 494,000 head as this study suggests, we will see higher prices for food and a slow and painful death to the American rancher. I’ve spent my entire life working on my family’s operation. I’m not going to stand by and allow this administration to advance a rule that could put my family’s operation out of business.”

The Informa study found that the rule would result in “ongoing and indirect” costs to the livestock and poultry industries – eventually borne by producers and consumers – of more than $1.64 billion, including nearly $880 million to the beef industry, more than $401 million to the pork industry and almost $362 million to the poultry industry.

“The GIPSA rule is very vague and ill-defined, will create considerable uncertainty among producers and packers alike and will have a detrimental effect particularly on small producers,” said NPPC President-elect Doug Wolf, a pork producer from Lancaster, Wis. “The bottom line is that the rule will add to the costs of buying and selling hogs, increase the risk of litigation and lead to more vertical integration in the pork industry, all of which means lost jobs and higher meat prices.”

“GIPSA never consulted with industry in an effort to determine the full economic impact of the rule. Therefore, the industry had to go out and conduct its own economic analysis, which is what we are presenting here today,” said John Burkel, a turkey grower from Badger, Minn. “This proposed rule, if implemented, will result in job losses that will severely hurt rural America – the parts of America that the Secretary of Agriculture is trying to grow.”

“National Meat Association members include many smaller independent companies that are really going to be impacted by this rule. Among the many changes suggested in the proposal, packers would be banned from selling livestock to other packers, competitive harm would not have to be proven to make anticompetitive allegations, and private contracts would be made public on GIPSA’s website,” said Jimmy Maxey, director of Certified Meat Products and former NMA Chairman. “These are restrictions and criteria that could stifle normal business operations, have been rejected by Federal courts and are contrary to a free and open market.”

Source: NMA

Halal meat recalled in Vancouver

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced a voluntary recall of meat products from Pitt Meadows Meats Ltd., reports theVancouver Sun. The company, which supplies halal meat to retailers throughout the Metro Vancouver area, is voluntarily withdrawing ground beef, ground lamb, beef trim and stewing beef from the market, as they may be contaminated with theE. coliO157:H7 pathogen. No illnesses have been reported associated with the consumption of the products, according to the CFIA.

"We are working closely with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to monitor this recall," said a spokeswoman for Pitt Meadows Meats, in a prepared statement.

Source: Vancouver Sun

Kayem hopes to score with Patriots deal

To kickoff a new decade of Patriots football, a hometown favorite and the #1 brand in New England is now the new top dog at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots and Kayem Foods Inc. announced a new multi-year sponsorship and licensing agreement to manufacture and distribute the Kayem Franks & Sausage at Patriots games, and make Kayem the Official Brand of Franks and Sausage of the New England Patriots and Gillette Stadium.

As part of the agreement, fans at Gillette Stadium can enjoy Kayem beef hot dogs and Kayem natural casing Italian sausage at all future Patriots games and New England Revolution games, as well as concerts and other events. Select products will also appear in retail stores throughout New England later in the fall. Kayem hot dogs at Gillette feature Kayem's special all-beef recipe, offering a unique blend of spices for a distinct bolder flavor. The skinless hot dogs have no fillers and are MSG and gluten free.

"The Patriots are thrilled to offer Kayem, a beloved New England brand and one of the country's most successful hot dog and sausage manufacturers, to the fans of the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium," said Murray Kohl, vice president of sales for the New England Patriots. "We are committed to providing fans at Gillette with the very best foods to enjoy, and offering Kayem's quality products is yet another way we can deliver to our fans the premier stadium experience."

"For more than a century, hot dog lovers throughout New England have recognized Kayem as the brand that delivers the best-tasting franks that get high marks for quality and freshness," said Matt Monkiewicz, vice president of marketing at Kayem Foods. "We are thrilled to partner with the New England Patriots -- another local brand that has set the bar for excellence -- for the privilege of delivering top-quality, delicious franks and sausage that will enhance the fan experience for millions of sports fans at Gillette Stadium."

Source: Kayem Foods Inc.