With Texas a national leader in cattle production, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples has announced he is heading an effort with 15 other state commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture to oppose federal proposals that could devastate the nation’s livestock and poultry industries, and in turn, put the domestic food supply at risk.

These states represent 41 percent of the cattle industry, 39 percent of the pork industry and 43 percent of the poultry industry in the United States.

 The proposed changes from USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) would restructure market rules put forth by the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921. The rules that have been in place for decades currently provide regulatory safeguards that protect consumers and ensure a productive and successful livestock industry, which has lead to better products and the safest, most affordable and most reliable food supply in the world.

 “These proposed rules are job killers that will decrease domestic food production and increase prices for consumers,” Commissioner Staples said. “Such drastic change to a system that today enables American consumers to enjoy the most affordable food supply in the world will cause total market confusion and illustrates yet another example of government-knows-best heavy handedness. This type of arbitrary mandate will severely decrease the quality and market innovation of a powerful industry that feeds our nation. In Texas and in America, businesses succeed because they offer a quality product at a fair price through efficiencies, marketing and accountability.”