USDA is looking to make major livestock and poultry marketing reforms. According to the American Meat Institute (AMI), the proposed rule, unveiled recently, attempts to dramatically change the way livestock are procured and marketed in the U.S. The debate is whether that change is for the better. AMI called it a regulatory end-run around judicial rulings which would have a severe and detrimental impact on livestock producers and the meat industry.

Mark Dopp, AMI senior vice president of regulatory affairs, said, “In our opinion, this interferes with the meat production practices that have made our system the envy of the world.”

But Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says the new rules would make it easier for the individual farmer to sue a packer, "This proposed rule will help ensure a level playing field for producers by providing additional protections against unfair practices and addressing new market conditions not covered by existing rules."

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