LINCOLN, NE: Organization for Competitive Markets, OCM very much supports the legislative efforts of Senator Rounds, Tester, and Grassley’s Senate Bill (S.2036) to amend the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921. This Act also cited as the ‘‘Meat Packing Special Investigator Act’ will establish an office of a special investigator to investigate and prosecute violations of transparent competition within the livestock industry. OCM applauds this long-overdue legislation to establish an “Office of the Special Investigator for Competition Matters” serving as Department of Agriculture liaison to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission on agricultural competition and trade matters.
OCM appreciates Senators Rounds, Tester, and Grassley’s desire to initiate proper enforcement of both antitrust laws and the 100-year-old Packers and Stockyards Act. S.2036 also compliments President Biden’s Executive Order which directs USDA to consider issuing new rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act, for strengthening producer marketing rights.
“Recently there have been a host of aggressive by-partisan actions to bring about competition to address the pervasive and long-existing inequities in cattle markets, states founding OCM board director Fred Stokes. “But perhaps most significant is Senate Bill 2036. The establishment of an “Office of the Special Investigator for Competition Matters” will facilitate the much-needed proper enforcement of both antitrust laws and the 100-year-old Packers and Stockyards Act.”
Over the last 50 years, cattle producers have seen dramatic consolidation in the agriculture industry, especially within the packing industry where four major corporations control over 85% of the meat processing. Oppressive corporate monopolization has propagated the decline of 43% of cattle operations and 75% of small family feeding operations in the past 50 years. Cattle and beef prices are moving in opposite directions with producers receiving 37% of the retail dollar and consumers being held ransom at the meat counter.
Executive director Mike Eby said, “OCM would very much like to assist in helping move this legislation to become law as this mirrors our organization’s mission of Competitive Markets”.
OCM thanks the sponsors of S2036 for their foresight and diligence to bring fairness and transparency to America’s livestock industry. OCM stands ready to support Senators Rounds, Tester, and Grassley’s S2036 legislation as America’s current monopolized food system is a threat to our national security as well as family farmers and ranchers.
OCM President, Vaughn Meyer
Organization for Competitive Markets
P.O. Box 6486
Lincoln, NE 68506