[USC02] 7 USC CHAPTER 38, SUBCHAPTER II, Part E: Administration
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7 USC CHAPTER 38, SUBCHAPTER II, Part E: Administration
From Title 7—AGRICULTURECHAPTER 38—DISTRIBUTION AND MARKETING OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTSSUBCHAPTER II—LIVESTOCK MANDATORY REPORTING

Part E—Administration

§1636. General provisions

(a) Confidentiality

The Secretary shall make available to the public information, statistics, and documents obtained from, or submitted by, packers, retail entities, and other persons under this subchapter in a manner that ensures that confidentiality is preserved regarding—

(1) the identity of persons, including parties to a contract; and

(2) proprietary business information.

(b) Disclosure by Federal Government employees

(1) In general

Subject to paragraph (2), no officer, employee, or agent of the United States shall, without the consent of the packer or other person concerned, divulge or make known in any manner, any facts or information regarding the business of the packer or other person that was acquired through reporting required under this subchapter.

(2) Exceptions

Information obtained by the Secretary under this subchapter may be disclosed—

(A) to agents or employees of the Department of Agriculture in the course of their official duties under this subchapter;

(B) as directed by the Secretary or the Attorney General, for enforcement purposes; or

(C) by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(3) Disclosure under Freedom of Information Act

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no facts or information obtained under this subchapter shall be disclosed in accordance with section 552 of title 5.

(c) Reporting by packers

A packer shall report all information required under this subchapter on an individual lot basis.

(d) Regional reporting and aggregation

The Secretary shall make information obtained under this subchapter available to the public only in a manner that—

(1) ensures that the information is published on a national and a regional or statewide basis as the Secretary determines to be appropriate;

(2) ensures that the identity of a reporting person is not disclosed; and

(3) conforms to aggregation guidelines established by the Secretary.

(e) Adjustments

Prior to the publication of any information required under this subchapter, the Secretary may make reasonable adjustments in information reported by packers to reflect price aberrations or other unusual or unique occurrences that the Secretary determines would distort the published information to the detriment of producers, packers, or other market participants.

(f) Verification

The Secretary shall take such actions as the Secretary considers necessary to verify the accuracy of the information submitted or reported under part B, C, or D of this subchapter.

(g) Electronic reporting and publishing

(1) In general

The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, provide for the reporting and publishing of the information required under this subchapter by electronic means.

(2) Improvements and education

(A) Enhanced electronic publishing

The Secretary shall develop and implement an enhanced system of electronic publishing to disseminate information collected pursuant to this subchapter. Such system shall—

(i) present information in a format that can be readily understood by producers, packers, and other market participants;

(ii) adhere to the publication deadlines in this subchapter;

(iii) present information in charts and graphs, as appropriate;

(iv) present comparative information for prior reporting periods, as the Secretary considers appropriate; and

(v) be updated as soon as practicable after information is reported to the Secretary.

(B) Education

The Secretary shall carry out a market news education program to educate the public and persons in the livestock and meat industries about—

(i) usage of the system developed under subparagraph (A); and

(ii) interpreting and understanding information collected and disseminated through such system.

(h) Reporting of activities on weekends and holidays

(1) In general

Livestock committed to a packer, or purchased, sold, or slaughtered by a packer, on a weekend day or holiday shall be reported by the packer to the Secretary (to the extent required under this subchapter), and reported by the Secretary, on the immediately following reporting day.

(2) Limitation on reporting by packers

A packer shall not be required to report actions under paragraph (1) more than once on the immediately following reporting day.

(i) Effect on other laws

Nothing in this subchapter, the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999, or amendments made by that Act restricts or modifies the authority of the Secretary to—

(1) administer or enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921 (7 U.S.C. 181 et seq.);

(2) administer, enforce, or collect voluntary reports under this chapter or any other law; or

(3) access documentary evidence as provided under sections 49 and 50 of title 15.

(Aug. 14, 1946, ch. 966, title II, §251, as added Pub. L. 106–78, title IX, §911(2), Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1200; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title XI, §11001(a)(1), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1350; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title XI, §11001(a)(1), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 2112.)

References in Text

The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999, referred to in subsec. (i), is title IX of Pub. L. 106–78, Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1188, which is set out as a note under section 1635 of this title.

The Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, referred to in subsec. (i)(1), is act Aug. 15, 1921, ch. 64, 42 Stat. 159, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 9 (§181 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 181 of this title and Tables.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 110–246, §11001(a)(1), amended subsec. (g) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, provide for the reporting and publishing of the information required under this subchapter by electronic means."

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of this title.

Implementation of Enhanced Electronic Publishing

Pub. L. 110–234, title XI, §11001(a)(2), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1351, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title XI, §11001(a)(2), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 2112, provided that:

"(A) Enhanced reporting.—The Secretary of Agriculture shall develop and implement the system required under paragraph (2)(A) of section 251(g) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1636(g)), as amended by paragraph (1), not later than one year after the date on which the Secretary determines sufficient funds have been appropriated pursuant to subsection (c) [122 Stat. 2113].

"(B) Current system.—Notwithstanding the amendment made by paragraph (1), the Secretary shall continue to use the information format for disseminating information under subtitle B [7 U.S.C. 1635 et seq.] of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq.) in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [June 18, 2008] at least until the date that is two years after the date on which the Secretary makes the determination referred to in subparagraph (A)."

[Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 enacted identical provisions. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as a note under section 8701 of this title.]

§1636a. Unlawful acts

It shall be unlawful and a violation of this subchapter for any packer or other person subject to this subchapter (in the submission of information required under part B, C, or D of this subchapter, as determined by the Secretary) to willfully—

(1) fail or refuse to provide, or delay the timely reporting of, accurate information to the Secretary (including estimated information);

(2) solicit or request that a packer, the buyer or seller of livestock or livestock products, or any other person fail to provide, as a condition of any transaction, accurate or timely information required under this subchapter;

(3) fail or refuse to comply with this subchapter; or

(4) report estimated information in any report required under this subchapter in a manner that demonstrates a pattern of significant variance in accuracy when compared to the actual information that is reported for the same reporting period, or as determined by any audit, oversight, or other verification procedures of the Secretary.

(Aug. 14, 1946, ch. 966, title II, §252, as added Pub. L. 106–78, title IX, §911(2), Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1201.)

§1636b. Enforcement

(a) Civil penalty

(1) In general

Any packer or other person that violates this subchapter may be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary of not more than $10,000 for each violation.

(2) Continuing violation

Each day during which a violation continues shall be considered to be a separate violation.

(3) Factors

In determining the amount of a civil penalty to be assessed under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consider the gravity of the offense, the size of the business involved, and the effect of the penalty on the ability of the person that has committed the violation to continue in business.

(4) Multiple violations

In determining whether to assess a civil penalty under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consider whether a packer or other person subject to this subchapter has engaged in a pattern of errors, delays, or omissions in violation of this subchapter.

(b) Cease and desist

In addition to, or in lieu of, a civil penalty under subsection (a), the Secretary may issue an order to cease and desist from continuing any violation.

(c) Notice and hearing

No penalty shall be assessed, or cease and desist order issued, by the Secretary under this section unless the person against which the penalty is assessed or to which the order is issued is given notice and opportunity for a hearing before the Secretary with respect to the violation.

(d) Finality and judicial review

(1) In general

The order of the Secretary assessing a civil penalty or issuing a cease and desist order under this section shall be final and conclusive unless the affected person files an appeal of the order of the Secretary in United States district court not later than 30 days after the date of the issuance of the order.

(2) Standard of review

A finding of the Secretary under this section shall be set aside only if the finding is found to be unsupported by substantial evidence.

(e) Enforcement

(1) In general

If, after the lapse of the period allowed for appeal or after the affirmance of a penalty assessed under this section, the person against which the civil penalty is assessed fails to pay the penalty, the Secretary may refer the matter to the Attorney General who may recover the penalty by an action in United States district court.

(2) Finality

In the action, the final order of the Secretary shall not be subject to review.

(f) Injunction or restraining order

(1) In general

If the Secretary has reason to believe that any person subject to this subchapter has failed or refused to provide the Secretary information required to be reported pursuant to this subchapter, and that it would be in the public interest to enjoin the person from further failure to comply with the reporting requirements, the Secretary may notify the Attorney General of the failure.

(2) Attorney General

The Attorney General may apply to the appropriate district court of the United States for a temporary or permanent injunction or restraining order.

(3) Court

When needed to carry out this subchapter, the court shall, on a proper showing, issue a temporary injunction or restraining order without bond.

(g) Failure to obey orders

(1) In general

If a person subject to this subchapter fails to obey a cease and desist or civil penalty order issued under this subsection after the order has become final and unappealable, or after the appropriate United States district court has entered a final judgment in favor of the Secretary, the United States may apply to the appropriate district court for enforcement of the order.

(2) Enforcement

If the court determines that the order was lawfully made and duly served and that the person violated the order, the court shall enforce the order.

(3) Civil penalty

If the court finds that the person violated the cease and desist provisions of the order, the person shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each offense.

(Aug. 14, 1946, ch. 966, title II, §253, as added Pub. L. 106–78, title IX, §911(2), Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1202.)

§1636c. Fees

The Secretary shall not charge or assess a user fee, transaction fee, service charge, assessment, reimbursement, or any other fee for the submission or reporting of information, for the receipt or availability of, or access to, published reports or information, or for any other activity required under this subchapter.

(Aug. 14, 1946, ch. 966, title II, §254, as added Pub. L. 106–78, title IX, §911(2), Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1203.)

§1636d. Recordkeeping

(a) In general

Subject to subsection (b), each packer required to report information to the Secretary under this subchapter shall maintain, and make available to the Secretary on request, for 2 years—

(1) the original contracts, agreements, receipts and other records associated with any transaction relating to the purchase, sale, pricing, transportation, delivery, weighing, slaughter, or carcass characteristics of all livestock; and

(2) such records or other information as is necessary or appropriate to verify the accuracy of the information required to be reported under this subchapter.

(b) Limitations

Under subsection (a)(2), the Secretary may not require a packer to provide new or additional information if—

(1) the information is not generally available or maintained by packers; or

(2) the provision of the information would be unduly burdensome.

(c) Purchases of cattle or swine

A record of a purchase of a lot of cattle or a lot of swine by a packer shall evidence whether the purchase occurred—

(1) before 10:00 a.m. Central Time;

(2) between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Central Time; or

(3) after 2:00 p.m. Central Time.

(Aug. 14, 1946, ch. 966, title II, §255, as added Pub. L. 106–78, title IX, §911(2), Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1203.)

§1636e. Voluntary reporting

The Secretary shall encourage voluntary reporting by packers (as defined in section 191 of this title) to which the mandatory reporting requirements of this subchapter do not apply.

(Aug. 14, 1946, ch. 966, title II, §256, as added Pub. L. 106–78, title IX, §911(2), Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1204.)

§1636f. Publication of information on retail purchase prices for representative meat products

(a) In general

Beginning not later than 90 days after October 22, 1999, the Secretary shall compile and publish at least monthly (weekly, if practicable) information on retail prices for representative food products made from beef, pork, chicken, turkey, veal, or lamb.

(b) Information

The report published by the Secretary under subsection (a) shall include—

(1) information on retail prices for each representative food product described in subsection (a); and

(2) information on total sales quantity (in pounds and dollars) for each representative food product.

(c) Meat Price Spreads Report

During the period ending 2 years after the initial publication of the report required under subsection (a), the Secretary shall continue to publish the Meat Price Spreads Report in the same manner as the Report was published before October 22, 1999.

(d) Information collection

(1) In general

To ensure the accuracy of the reports required under subsection (a), the Secretary shall obtain the information for the reports from one or more sources including—

(A) a consistently representative set of retail transactions; and

(B) both prices and sales quantities for the transactions.

(2) Source of information

The Secretary may—

(A) obtain the information from retailers or commercial information sources; and

(B) use valid statistical sampling procedures, if necessary.

(3) Adjustments

In providing information on retail prices under this section, the Secretary may make adjustments to take into account differences in—

(A) the geographic location of consumption;

(B) the location of the principal source of supply;

(C) distribution costs; and

(D) such other factors as the Secretary determines reflect a verifiable comparative retail price for a representative food product.

(e) Administration

The Secretary—

(1) shall collect information under this section only on a voluntary basis; and

(2) shall not impose a penalty on a person for failure to provide the information or otherwise compel a person to provide the information.

(Aug. 14, 1946, ch. 966, title II, §257, as added Pub. L. 106–78, title IX, §911(2), Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1204.)

§1636g. Suspension authority regarding specific terms of price reporting requirements

(a) In general

The Secretary may suspend any requirement of this subchapter if the Secretary determines that application of the requirement is inconsistent with the purposes of this subchapter.

(b) Suspension procedure

(1) Period

A suspension under subsection (a) shall be for a period of not more than 240 days.

(2) Action by Congress

If an Act of Congress concerning the requirement that is the subject of the suspension under subsection (a) is not enacted by the end of the period of the suspension established under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall implement the requirement.

(Aug. 14, 1946, ch. 966, title II, §258, as added Pub. L. 106–78, title IX, §911(2), Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1205.)

§1636h. Federal preemption

In order to achieve the goals, purposes, and objectives of this chapter on a nationwide basis and to avoid potentially conflicting State laws that could impede the goals, purposes, or objectives of this chapter, no State or political subdivision of a State may impose a requirement that is in addition to, or inconsistent with, any requirement of this subchapter with respect to the submission or reporting of information, or the publication of such information, on the prices and quantities of livestock or livestock products.

(Aug. 14, 1946, ch. 966, title II, §259, as added Pub. L. 106–78, title IX, §911(2), Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1205.)

§1636i. Termination of authority

The authority provided by this subchapter terminates on September 30, 2020.

(Aug. 14, 1946, ch. 966, title II, §260, as added Pub. L. 109–296, §1(a), Oct. 5, 2006, 120 Stat. 1464; amended Pub. L. 111–239, §2(a)(1), Sept. 27, 2010, 124 Stat. 2501; Pub. L. 114–54, title I, §101(a), Sept. 30, 2015, 129 Stat. 513.)

Amendments

2015Pub. L. 114–54 substituted "September 30, 2020" for "September 30, 2015".

2010Pub. L. 111–239 substituted "September 30, 2015" for "September 30, 2010".