Meat & Livestock News

Senators Rally for Stronger Meat Industry Regulations Amid Big Ag’s Growing Influence


  • Senators Tester and Grassley call for support against Big Ag’s influence and the enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act.
  • They highlight the disparity between large processors’ profits and the financial struggles of farmers and consumers.
  • The proposed legislation aims to establish an office to tackle anti-competitive practices in the meat industry.

Senators Jon Tester from Montana and Chuck Grassley from Iowa are rallying their fellow senators to reinforce meat industry regulations and counteract the influence of large agricultural corporations. In a letter, they highlight the pressing need to support the Packers and Stockyards Act amidst attempts to dilute it in the Fiscal Year 2024 Agriculture Appropriations bill.

Their call to action emphasises the importance of holding multinational food manufacturers to account for their actions.

The senators express concern over the behaviour of large processors, accusing them of consistently disregarding U.S. antitrust laws. They point out the disparity between the soaring profits of these companies and the financial struggles faced by farmers, ranchers, and consumers burdened with high protein prices.

Furthermore, they argue that recent settlements for price fixing barely scratch the surface of the enormous profits these corporations continue to amass.

Tester and Grassley also accuse these corporations of increasing their lobbying efforts to oppose any new regulations that would benefit American producers or consumers, especially with the USDA planning to introduce new measures this year. They urge Congress to stand firm against the influence of these special interests.

The push for stronger regulations is echoed by numerous organisations, with over 60 agricultural groups calling on the Biden administration for support in enacting new rules. Concerns have also been raised about the USDA’s slow pace in implementing these regulations.

In response to these challenges, Tester and Grassley have proposed legislation to establish an “Office of the Special Investigator for Competition Matters” within the meat industry. This office would focus on identifying and curbing anti-competitive practices, aiming to restore fairness and competition to the industry.