Will there be a new investigator position at USDA?

The debate continues on Capitol Hill over whether meat and poultry processors are unfairly hiking prices.

The House Ag Committee is voting at 11 a.m. Eastern today to decide on creating a special investigator position at the USDA, and the two sides seem split down the aisle.

“The bill could create a duplicative unfunded office within the Office of the Secretary headed by special investigator, with a mandate to investigate packers and live poultry dealers. The investigator would be granted independent litigation authority, allowing them carte blanche power to file civil suits against packers at the whims of the Secretary without any required coordination with DOJ.”

“This bill gives USDA better law enforcement tools through new litigation power. However, I want to reiterate, it does not change any existing rules, nor does it take any power away from other agencies or offices. It does not increase compliance costs for producers or packers, and contrary to what some suggested, it does not create a new model of civil enforcement.”

The vote was postponed yesterday as some ag committee members had other commitments.


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