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 …

For Meat Industry, Anti-trust Efforts in Corporate Control Collapse

by David Andrews In 2008 the Federal Farm Bill instructed the Department of Agriculture to write rules for competition in the meat industry. This directive was to complete the details lacking in the 80-plus-year-old legislation on competition in the meat industry from the Theodore Roosevelt era. That legislation was to be enhanced with detailed directions on contracts, anti-trust policies and mandates requiring greater justice in meat production, processing and distribution. The rules were to be developed by a Read More …

Another Market Reformer Quits

Thomas F. “Fred” Stokes President On January 26th, J. Dudley Butler resigned his position as the livestock industry’s top cop. It was a sad day for independent livestock producers and poultry growers. There was lots of excitement and enthusiasm as the Obama Administration’s Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) forged an historic joint effort to deal with the long-neglected concentration and market power abuse in agriculture. But after some three years and five workshops which Read More …

Ranchers Must Keep Pushing, Ex-GIPSA Chief Says

Updated: Wednesday, February 08, 2012 11:42 AM By MATEUSZ PERKOWSKI Capital Press Ranchers risk losing their independence unless they keep pressing for stronger oversight of meat packers, according to a former USDA official who recently resigned after losing a battle over livestock industry reforms. Cattle producers are subject to the same forces as the packer-dominated hog and chicken industries, said Dudley Butler, who left his post as chief of the agency’s Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration in Read More …

Packers and Stockyards Act; Nullified by Judcial Activism! – Must We Let It Rest in Peace?

Thomas F. “Fred” Stokes Executive Director The Rule doesn’t reinvent the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 (PSA) but rather reinvigorates it”, so says David Domina, OCM General Counsel of the Proposed GIPSA Rule published on the federal register June 22, 2010. The rule was issued pursuant to the 2008 Farm Bill to clarify and interpret the 89 year old Packers and Stockyards Act, but the PSA (sometimes called the producer’s protection act) may well be nullified by Read More …

“The Big Lie” – Weapon of Choice for GIPSA Rule Opponents

Thomas F. “Fred” Stokes Executive Director The comment period for the proposed GIPSA Rules has ended and the 80,000 or so comments are in; — but the bare knuckled, back-alley fight continues. Pursuant to Title XI of the Food Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill), the U. S. Department of Agriculture published certain rules on the federal register, June 22nd. The rules have to do with interpreting and enforcing the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 Read More …