US Agency Withdraws Rule Aimed at Protecting Animal Farmers
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has killed a rule designed to protect the legal rights of farmers who raise chickens and hogs for the nation's largest meat processors. The rule would have made it easier for farmers to sue companies they contract with over unfair or deceptive practices. It was rolled out in the final days of Barack Obama's administration. But the USDA delayed it after President Donald Trump took office. On Tuesday, the agency withdrew it for good. Farmers who have waited years for the rule are expressing disappointment. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa farmer, accuses the Trump administration of "pandering to big corporations." Poultry and pork industry trade groups say the rule would have reduced competition and driven meat prices higher.