Proposed Regulations for The Packers & Stockyard Act: 90 Years in the Making, but is the USDA Ahead of Itself Already?
CitationJoseph Vardner, Proposed Regulations for The Packers & Stockyard Act: 90 Years in the Making, but is the USDA Ahead of Itself Already? (2011).
AbstractThis paper takes a look at regulations proposed by the USDA last June pursuant to its authority under the Packers & Stockyard Act of 1921. The Packers & Stockyard act was passed shortly after the FTC Act and was meant to aid in enforcing the antitrust laws in the meatpacking sector. After ninety years without regulations, several courts of appeals recently began pushing back on the USDA’s interpretation of the Act and begin requiring additional proof beyond what the USDA felt was necessary. In response, and at the urging of Congress, the USDA proposed the rules addressed in this paper. After their proposal, industry participants and Congress voiced concern that the regulations stretched too far. Due to the substantial change proposed by these regulations, a complete review of all proposed changes is beyond the scope of this paper. I examine parts of the regulations in light of other laws and antitrust policies previously enforced. I conclude that some of the proposed regulations are nothing more than agricultural versions of laws that exist in other industries while other regulations appear unprecedented and should be interpreted narrowly.
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