Iowa Public Television


Grassley Seeks Ban on Packer Ownership of Livestock

posted on January 19, 2007

Senator Charles Grassley, R - Iowa, announced plans on Tuesday to introduce legislation that would make it unlawful for packers to own or feed livestock intended for the human food chain. According to Grassley, "outlawing packer ownership of livestock would make sure the forces of the marketplace would work for the benefit of the farmer just as much as it does for the slaughterhouse."

The ban excludes single pack entities and packers that are too small to participate in the Mandatory Price Reporting program. The bill also exempts farmer cooperatives where members own, feed or control the livestock themselves.

The Packer Ban is the latest in Grassley's efforts to address concentration issues during the upcoming farm bill debate. Last week, he introduced legislation that would ban mandatory arbitration clauses from being included in contracts between livestock producers and packers.

Grassley stated that Concentration and vertical integration leave the independent producer with even fewer choices of who to buy from and sell to, and hurt the ability of farmers to get a fair price for their products.

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