Proposed Senate Bill Would Put Ban on Packer Ownership of Livestock

A news release this week from Iowa GOP Senator Chuck Grassley stated that, “[Sen. Grassley] has introduced legislation to ban packer ownership of livestock after seeing continued consolidation within the livestock industry.

“‘An effective and efficient marketplace is one where packers that control all harvest capacity of the industry do not also own a majority of the animals to be processed,’ Grassley said. ‘The fact of the matter is that the market continues to become less competitive. It’s time to see if ending packer ownership of livestock will reverse that trend.’

“Over the last several years, we’ve seen large companies joining forces to create new business giants in every sector of the economy, including agriculture. Tyson has purchased Hillshire Brands and JBS purchased Cargill pork. Smithfield, by far the largest pork producer in the world, was sold to the Chinese. And, in the beef industry, packing plants have closed in West Texas and Denison, Iowa which further concentrated power in that industry.”

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