Calls for improving and strengthening cattle industry, regulations continue

Senator Chuck Grassley says that the recent cyberattack on JBS highlights the need for enforcement in USDA.

On a call with reporters, the Senator talked about his “Meatpacking Special Investigator Act.” It would create an office of special investigators in USDA’s Packers and Stockyards division. The office would have subpoena authority and work with the Justice Department and other agencies.

“This underscored the importance of protecting the livelihood of our farmers. Food security is national security. If you don’t believe me, believe Napolean. He said, ‘the army marches on its belly,’” Grassley states.

The Senator’s bill comes as USDA announces its own steps to strengthen the Packers and Stockyards Act, including a new rule to clarify definitions of unfair practices.

The department will also create rules to govern the poultry growers system and to say “harm to competition” does not need to be shown in order to initiate action.

The century-old law is meant to protect farmers and ranchers from unfair practices in the packing industry.

Colin Woodall, the CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, spoke with RFD-TV’s Janet Adkison on their thoughts on the revision, what updates they would like to see, and what the next steps are moving forward.

According to Woodall, “We spent almost a decade working to kill the original rule in order to make sure that USDA is not telling cattle producers how they can or cannot market their cattle, and that’s key in this discussion moving forward.”

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