IDFA Urges USDA Not to Rush to Enforce 1949 Dairy Law

House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson said last week (week of September 9) that USDA should put pressure on Congress to pass a new farm bill by preparing to implement a 1949 dairy law that would come into effect January 1. Peterson hoped to rouse affected industry groups - stating that the International Dairy Foods Association would really hate the idea. He was right. IDFA says USDA shouldn't rush the process. IDFA Senior Vice President for Legislative Affairs Jerry Slominski said no one should be in a hurry to enforce an outdated and irresponsible law that would dramatically and artificially increase the costs of nutritious dairy products and cause irreparable harm to an important sector of the ag economy. According to Slominski - the Obama Administration has ample legal authority to delay the enforcement of the 1949 act should Congress fail to pass a new farm bill prior to December 31st. If it does come to that - he said the administration should proceed to implement the act in a thoughtful and deliberate manner - following formal rules of evidence. If the administration does move quickly to enforce the 1949 law - Slominski said it will be responsible for unnecessarily forcing millions of low and middle income Americans 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.

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