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 …

Iowa Public Radio | Some Iowa Farmers See Source of Help in New Jersey Senator’s Anti-Mergers Bill

Iowa Public Radio By Amy Mayer Independent farmers who question the consolidation of farming are finding support from an unexpected ally. New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker has introduced a bill calling for an 18-month moratorium on mergers and acquisitions in the food and agribusiness sector. North Iowa farmer Chris Petersen says most farmers don’t get any benefits when the large seed and chemical companies pair-up. During several recent marriages, the companies suggested prices for their products would come Read More …

The Atlantic | The Rise of the Zombie Small Businesses

The Atlantic By Annie Lowrey Imagine the farm that raised the chicken that produced the meat that sits in your sandwich: a few workers, thousands of birds, tens of thousands of pounds of white and dark meat, work that starts before dawn and ends after dusk, uncertain revenue, slim profits. There are thousands of these small farms in the United States, and they benefit from millions of dollars of taxpayer support each year. Chicken is America’s favorite protein, after all. Family Read More …

Brownfield Ag News | New Legislation Would Limit Mergers and Acquisitions

Brownfield Ag News By Larry Lee The leader of the Organization for Competitive Markets tells Brownfield they are getting more support from other groups for a bill that would block any future agribusiness mergers and acquisitions.  Joe Maxwell tells Brownfield, “It’s time to put a stop, hit the pause button on these mega-mergers until the Congress can take a look and see what we need to do in this country to give a fair opportunity for family farmers.” Maxwell says Read More …

The New Food Economy | A Handful of Companies Control American Agriculture. Cory Booker Wants to Change That

The New Food Economy By Sam Bloch n Wednesday, Cory Booker, the Democratic Senator from New Jersey, introduced a bill that would impose a temporary moratorium on mergers and acquisitions between large farm, food, and grocery companies, and establish a commission to strengthen antitrust enforcement in the agribusiness industry. The bill, modeled after legislation introduced by the late “prairie populist” Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota in 1999, would be effective for 18 months, or until more comprehensive legislation is passed to Read More …

Forbes | Why Your ‘Product Of U.S.A.’ Steak May Not Actually Be From A Cow Raised On American Soil

Forbes By Nicole Rasul American shoppers face yet another dilemma in the grocery store aisle. According to a petition submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) by the Organization for Competitive Markets and the American Grassfed Association, not all meat labeled “Product of U.S.A.” is actually from animals raised within U.S. borders. It is “deceptive and misleading,” says the advocacy organizations in the document. They state that due to an ambiguity in the language Read More …

Tri-State Livestock News | Petition aims to change labeling laws for U.S. beef

Tri-State Livestock News By Amanda Radke When consumers shop the meat case, they have a variety of labels to choose from such as natural, organic, antibiotic-free, grassfed, Certified Angus Beef and Certified Hereford Beef, just to name a few. While beef and pork muscle cuts are no longer under the list of commodities covered by the country-of-origin-labeling (COOL) regulation (as of February 2016), many products, such as grassfed beef, are still labeled as a “Product of U.S.A.” However, Read More …

Politico | Challenge to GIPSA Rollback Moves Forward

Politico’s Morning Ag By Sabrina Rodriguez USDA defied the will of Congress when it rolled back two rules aimed at balancing the power between meatpacking companies and contract growers –– more widely known as the GIPSA rules, according to the latest brief filed in a lawsuit challenging Perdue’s decision to withdraw the rules last year. The lawsuit, brought by legal nonprofit Democracy Forward on behalf of the Organization for Competitive Markets, also argues that the department failed to provide a Read More …