Farmers Call for Tougher Meatpacking Regulations

Farmers and ranchers are rallying in support of the Agriculture Department’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, GIPSA, which is pushing for tighter government control over meatpacking monopolies. Arguing that large-scale meatpacking companies have monopolized the industry, GIPSA is pushing for more fairness in meatpacking based marketing.

In addition to these new rules, the Department of Justice is planning to hold hearings in Colorado regarding meatpacking antitrust issues.

Small-scale farmers and ranchers are meeting in Nebraska this week hoping to rally support for the GIPSA regulations and are attempting to stop lobbying from corporate meatpacking companies and organizations who want to water down regulation. These farmers and ranchers have argued that unfair competition and monopolistic activity hurt smaller producers while boosting the profits of larger corporations.

“All we want is a fair deal for the farmers … to be fair and competitive,” said Fred Stokes, executive director of the Organization for Competitive Markets. “The answer is enforcement of our antitrust laws. Right now the market is rigged.”

Opposing tougher regulations are the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Pork Producers Council, and other meatpacking companies. “”This would take money out of the pockets of our most progressive, most efficient producers and put it in the pockets of the least progressive growers. It doesn’t seem to me that is fair,” said Tyson CEO Donnie Smith.

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