Federal Rice Grading Standards Up for Review

Rice Leadership Class gets a rice grading demo at RiceTec
Mar 22, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC – This week USA Rice submitted comments for the five-year review of United States Standards for Rough Rice, Brown Rice for Processing, and Milled Rice.  The standards are maintained by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) and facilitate the marketing of rice in foreign and domestic trade, and provide a uniform measure of quality by providing a common language to describe commodity attributes for U.S. producers, exporters, and their customers.

USA Rice asked the agency to keep the standards as they currently exist without making any changes.  The current standards are widely recognized in international trade and allow for adjustments in milling based on individual contracts with customers.  

John Morgan, vice president of Louisiana Rice Mill, LLC, and chairman of the USA Rice Millers’ Association’s Industry Standards Committee said, “Current U.S. standards are globally accepted and any ancillary issues are successfully handled on a contract by contract basis.  We appreciate the leeway this gives marketers to customize their product for individual customers’ needs and encouraged GIPSA to maintain current standards.”

USA Rice comments also noted that while the agency is currently reviewing one specific brand of laboratory sampling equipment, there is an array of other equipment available to evaluate for relevancy in the three main areas of simplicity, repeatability, and removal of human error.

The U. S. Standards are opened every five to seven years although they are not always revised.  They were last revised in 2002 and appear in the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946 regulations.  GIPSA will review all public comments before deciding whether to make revisions.