Monthly Archives: January 2012

J. Dudley Butler to Resign as Head of GIPSA

On January 19, 2012, the Associated Press reported that J. Dudley Butler, Administrator of the United States Department of Agriculture Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) will resign his position this week.  Under Mr. Butler’s leadership, GIPSA proposed extensive new rules in 2010 to reform livestock and poultry markets.  As reported in the newsletter of the Agriculture and Food Committee published earlier this month (“Limited GIPSA Rule Escapes from Washington Gridlock”), GIPSA’s proposed rules generated over 64,000 comments and by mid-2011 led to proposed legislation in Congress to deny funding for several of the proposed GIPSA rules.  In early December 2011, GIPSA issued a final rule that dropped all but its least controversial proposals.

Update: Food Safety Modernization Act

Visit the Committee’s Winter 2012 Newsletter  to read Update on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act,” which provides an overview of this January 2011 upgrade of U.S. food safety law, and outlines the new powers that this law extends to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Canadian Supreme Court to Decide Rights of Indirect Purchasers

Read an update in the Committee’s Winter 2012 Newsletter on the Supreme Court of Canada’s December 1, 2011 decision to hear appeals from two lower court cases holding that Canadian law does not permit indirect-purchaser class actions. 

Limited GIPSA Rule Escapes from Washington Gridlock

Read an update in the Committee’s Winter 2012 Newsletter on the result of USDA’s controversial rulemaking attempt to expand liability under the Packers and Stockyards Act and to reform livestock and poultry markets. 

Visions of Immunity

In “Visions of Immunity: Mushroom and Potatoes Courts Peer into the Capper-Volstead Act,” Les Locke reviews important Capper-Volstead issues that were decided late last year in two multi-district antitrust cases where plaintiffs have targeted alleged production and supply-limiting agreements by agricultural cooperatives.  The full text of the article can be found in the Agriculture and Food Committee’s Winter 2012  Newsletter, which appears on the Committee’s website.

The Next Wave of Consumer Class Actions?

Advertising and Labeling of Foods from Genetically Modified Organisms: The Next Wave of Consumer Class Actions?”, by Carmine Zarlenga and Phillip Dupré, analyzes issues arising out of a major new development in 2011 – the explosion of consumer class actions based on food labeling and advertising claims.  This recent development has given the Agriculture and Food Committee an additional area to explore as we expand our efforts relating to consumer protection issues in the food sector.  We hope to generate robust interest in this subject in 2012. The full text of the article can be found in the Agriculture and Food Committee’s Winter 2012  Newsletter, which appears on the Committee’s website. 

Emerging Issues in Buyer Power Analysis

Buyer power that is exercised by businesses to the detriment of their suppliers has emerged as one of the largest unresolved, and relatively unexplored, areas of antitrust inquiry.  Questions include:  how to measure buyer power; how to determine when it is used in an anticompetitive manner; and how to determine when harm to suppliers creates harm to competition.   These issues are examined in, “Emerging Issues in Buyer Power Analysisby Professor Peter C. Carstensen of the University of Wisconsin Law School.  The full text of the article can be found in the Agriculture and Food Committee’s Winter 2012 Newsletter, which appears on the Committee’s website.