Responding to a comment made last week by Collin Peterson (D-MN), the ranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture, IDFA said the U.S. Department of Agriculture should not move quickly to enforce the 1949 law that will come into effect January 1 if the Farm Bill is not extended or updated before the end of the year. Peterson had called on USDA to pressure Congress to pass a new Farm Bill, but Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president, said early implementation of the outdated law would “dramatically and artificially” raise consumer prices of dairy products and harm the dairy industry.
The following is Slominski’s full statement, which appeared in the September 13 issue of “The Hagstrom Report.”
“IDFA suggests that no one should be in a hurry to enforce an outdated and irresponsible law that would dramatically and artificially increase the costs of nutritious dairy products such as milk and yogurt for consumers and would cause irreparable damage to an important sector of our agriculture economy.
“The House of Representatives, by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 291-135, voted to reject Rep. Peterson’s program to raise dairy prices by imposing production quotas on dairy farmers and we urge Secretary Vilsack to reject this very similar effort.
“The Obama administration enjoys ample legal authority to delay the enforcement of the 1949 act should Congress fail to pass a new farm bill prior to December 31," Slominski continued.
“If placed in that position, the administration should proceed to implement the act in a thoughtful and deliberate manner, following formal rules of evidence, as they have done with hundreds of other regulations.
“If the administration does choose to move quickly to enforce the 1949 law, it will be responsible for unnecessarily forcing millions of low and middle income Americans, particularly families with children, to pay higher grocery bills and for significantly increasing the costs of our nutritional safety net programs at a time when millions are still struggling to make ends meet.”
For more information, contact Slominski at firstname.lastname@example.org.