New JBS Violations Highlight Weak Enforcement of Packers & Stockyards Act

Today, Organization for Competitive Markets received information indicating that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will be releasing the terms of a settlement agreement with JBS Swift over its gross mishandling of beef carcasses at its Grand Island, Nebraska facility, its largest beef processing plant in the U.S. This unconscionable practice led to probable underpayments to cattle producers in violation of the Packers & Stockyards Act. In a soon to be released press statement, AMS Read More …

GIPSA is Dead; the Fight for Producer Protections Continues

In a move designed to take a thorn out of the side of the world’s largest meatpackers, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue put the final nail in the coffin of the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) by formalizing the elimination of the standalone agency and transferring its delegation to the historically big agribusiness-friendly Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Among its duties, the now defunct GIPSA agency was responsible for enforcement of antitrust law in Read More …

Leading Ag Journal Poll Sets Record Straight: Cattle Producers Acknowledge Beef Checkoff Program Not Working for Them

On Tuesday, November 13th, Drovers issued a poll asking the question, “Do you believe the Beef Checkoff is helping stimulate beef demand and support your cattle business?” By Thursday afternoon, the polling showed that 70 percent of Drovers’ audience who responded flatly rejected the notion that the checkoff was helpful to their farms and ranches. Even more telling was the more than 50 comments on the poll, which were removed from Drovers’ website on Thursday afternoon. However, screenshots Read More …

OCM Beef Checkoff Transparency Lawsuit Moves Forward

In a FOIA case four years in the making, USDA is forced to explain to the court why it will not release government audit documents Lincoln, NE — Yesterday marked the start of the most critical phase in a four-year legal battle between family farmers and ranchers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over USDA’s refusal to release public audit and financial documents related to Beef Checkoff Program spending. By law, farmers and ranchers are mandated to Read More …

Over 200 Farm, Food and Rural Groups Endorse Agribusiness Merger Moratorium Bills

Broad and Diverse Coalition Urges Members of Congress to Cosponsor Landmark Legislation Washington, D.C. — Today, a broad-based coalition of 213 farm, food, rural, faith and consumer advocacy organizations delivered a letter to Congress endorsing food and agribusiness merger moratorium bills and urging members of the House and Senate to cosponsor the legislation. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced the Food and Agribusiness Merger Moratorium and Antitrust Review Act of 2018 companion bills this Read More …

Latest Beef Recall Exposes Illusion of Choice

This past week, almost seven million pounds of JBS beef were recalled after 57 people in 16 states were sickened by Salmonella poisoning. No surprise here. Just last year, JBS was caught exporting rotten beef worldwide and trying to cover up the stench using cancer-causing acid products. The latest JBS tainted meat scandal not only continues to ring alarm bells about the safety of JBS beef, but it also shows how few choices consumers actually have in the Read More …

Meatingplace | GIPSA rules fester as USDA goes back to the drawing board

Meatingplace By Tom Johnston on 9/28/2018 USDA intends to put on its spring 2019 regulatory agenda the unsettled matter of rules governing how meatpackers contract with farmers and ranchers, with a possible notice of proposed rulemaking coming sometime after that — and then another rulemaking process to follow that notice. So said attorney Weili Shaw as he defended USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service Fair Trade Practices Program, formerly known as the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), on Wednesday in Read More …