Farmers sue USDA in defense of Obama-era rule that Trump revoked: report

Farmers sue USDA in defense of Obama-era rule that Trump revoked: report
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A group of small farmers filed a petition in a federal appeals court last week pressing the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reinstate an Obama-era rule that it revoked in October.

The rule, which had not yet taken effect, would have made it easier for independent farmers to sue big agriculture companies for whom they raise livestock. President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichael Cohen: I pray Michelle Obama's words will unite country again Michelle Obama: ‘I stopped even trying to smile’ during Trump’s inauguration Trump wants to end federal relief money for Puerto Rico: report MORE’s USDA killed the rule in October, saying that it would have been detrimental to the meat industry.

Bloomberg reported that petition was filed Thursday with the U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

The law currently requires independent farmers who sue big agriculture companies to prove that the actions in question have hurt the whole market, not just the sole farmer. The rule would have made it so plaintiffs only had to prove that they were hurt as individuals.


Supporters of the rule said that it would level the playing field for small farms and improve accountability in the industry, while lobbying groups for the industry and other opponents said it would result in more lawsuits being brought and increase prices, according to Bloomberg.

The Trump administration withdrew the rule in October, the day before it was scheduled to take effect.

One poultry farmer involved in the suit, who said he voted for Trump, told Bloomberg that he is “disappointed” in the president for nixing the proposed rule.

“I’m quite disappointed in the fact that the president hasn’t followed through on promises to help the little guy, including family farmers,” Mike Weaver said. “If it takes legal action to accomplish things that should be done otherwise, then that’s what we’re going to do.”