IARN — One Midwest Senator continues to work on behalf of independent cattle producers, ensuring they have a “fair” and “functioning” marketplace.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) this week provided an update on his request for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate potential market manipulation and other illegal activity by large meatpacking companies during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Department of Justice announced sweeping initiatives, that it had issued several investigative demands to the world’s four largest meat packers, who have about 75- to 80-percent of the slaughter in the United States,” Senator Grassley said.
Senator Grassley says, “This is an important step in protecting independent producers.” He feels “more can be done,” which is why he sent a follow-up letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue regarding an investigation into beef pricing margins following the fire at Tyson’s plant in Holcomb, KS.
“I’m sending a followup letter to Secretary Perdue, echoing these concerns and seeking a report into an investigation into the Tyson fire, which occurred 10 months ago. I believe I sent a letter at that particular time, and we don’t have a report back on that,” Senator Grassley said.
Senator Grassley says, “We have a lot of following up to do,” citing ongoing concerns related to competition in the meat packing industry.
“It affects what farmers are getting. While cattle producers are going to appreciate the payments under the CARES Act, they’d prefer a fair and functioning marketplace over government payments,” Senator Grassley said. “If (Attorney General) Barr can find something wrong, that the marketplace isn’t working, that’d be good news.”
Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.