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

Coalition Urges Members of Congress to Cosponsor Vital Legislation Washington, D.C. — Today, a broad-based coalition of 219 farm, food, rural, faith and consumer advocacy organizations delivered a letter to Congress endorsing food and agribusiness merger moratorium bills introduced by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Jon Tester (D-MT) and Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI). The Food and Agribusiness Merger Moratorium and Antitrust Review Act of 2019 would initiate a moratorium on large agriculture, food and beverage manufacturing and grocery retail Read More …

USDA Announces New Packers and Stockyards Act Regulations to be Issued

Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will invite the public to comment on new proposed revisions to regulations under the Packers & Stockyards Act in compliance with a 2008 congressional mandate by the Bush administration. At issue is whether or not family farmers have a legal leg to stand on when the largest agriculture monopolies bully them in the marketplace using predatory and retaliatory practices to either keep farmers in line or to drive Read More …

OCM Calls on DOJ to Block Acquisition of Iowa Premium by National Beef Packing Company

Via Open Markets Institute: Deal Would Destroy Last Competitive Market for Cattle in America Washington, D.C. — As lawmakers’ calls to break up big agribusiness monopolies grow, Open Markets, Food & Water Watch and the Organization for Competitive Markets called on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to block the proposed acquisition of Iowa Premium by National Beef. “True open and competitive cattle auctions are disappearing as ranchers become more beholden to powerful corporations,” says Claire Kelloway, Food & Farming researcher at Open Read More …

Federal Legislation Would End USDA’s Bailout Payments to Brazil’s JBS

On Tuesday, May 14, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) filed the Buy American Agriculture Act (H.R. 2712) to stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from lining the pockets of global corporations at the expense of U.S. taxpayers and family farmers. The legislation was filed as the result of USDA’s announcement that it continues to provide millions of dollars in financial assistance to a Brazilian transnational corporation, JBS, through the bailout program established to assist America’s family farmers devastated Read More …

Bipartisan Demand for Checkoff Reform Renewed with Filing of U.S. Senate Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Common ground was found among unlikely allies again as the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act, S. 935, was reintroduced by U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Elizabeth Warren, (D-MA). The Off Act would put an end to the most egregious abuses committed by the boards and contractors of the federally mandated commodity checkoff programs. Checkoff programs have been instrumental in the history of agricultural advertising. Famous campaigns, Read More …

New Bill Would Require USDA to Buy American First

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) announced today she will file legislation to stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from lining the pockets of global corporations at the expense of U.S. taxpayers and family farmers. Known as the Buy American Agriculture Act, the bill would require that whenever possible, purchases of agricultural commodities made by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) must be from domestically owned enterprises. It would also require the secretary to publish the rationale for Read More …

Brazil’s JBS, the World’s Largest, Most Corrupt Meatpacker, to Receive $22 Million in U.S. Farm Bailout Money

Update: It is now reported that USDA will award 22,331,309 to JBS under the bailout program, rather than the $5 million previously reported. See the USDA Purchase Award Description here.  It has been reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will award $5 million in U.S. taxpayer funds to Brazilian-owned meatpacking corporation, JBS, under the bailout program meant to help American farmers hurt by the trade war. In November 2018, Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods rescinded its bid for bailout money after a backlash Read More …

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 …