Senators Unveil Bill to Level Playing Field in Meatpacking Industry

Jun 18, 2021  | 1 min  | Ep4644

At least three lawmakers are wanting to sharpen the teeth of the century-old Packers and Stockyards Act.

This would be adding a new layer of oversight with the aim at helping the livestock producer.

Josh Buettner has our story. Producer contact josh@iowapbs.org

Farm state Senators Mike Rounds, Jon Tester and Chuck Grassley recently unveiled bi-partisan legislation to address anti-competitive practices in the meat processing industry.

The Meat Packing Special Investigator Act comes on the heels of the Memorial Day cyberattack on one of the nation’s largest meat suppliers, JBS, who reportedly paid Russian hackers an $11 million ransom to get operations in North America and Australia back online.

The proposed bill will create a new dedicated office within USDA’s Packers and Stockyards Division to enforce anti-trust laws as they apply to the meat and poultry industries.

Lawmakers and livestock groups, among others, say corporate consolidation has led to a domestic business environment where just 4 major entities hold the reins of U.S. meat supply – a situation which they say puts farmers and ranchers out of business and drives up retails costs for consumers. 

For Market to Market, I’m Josh Buettner.

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