Sen. Grassley is disappointed in USDA’s meat packing decision

Senator Chuck Grassley is expressing some disappointment in a recent USDA decision regarding the meat packing industry.

The department issued a final rule Friday on meat packers or contractors giving “undue preference” to some livestock producers.

Grassley said that the rule needs more teeth: “Senator Tester and I commented during the rulemaking process that inappropriate livestock and poultry industry practices have gone unchecked and become somewhat customary in the industry. The Department of Agriculture’s rule not only fails to address the abusive and unreasonable industry practices, but it establishes criteria insulating packers and poultry companies from proper scrutiny from the government.”

He attributes many of the problems to the fact that only four packers control 80 percent of the slaughter.

That means producers often cannot get fair bids on their animals. He says that he will push the next Congress to require 50 percent of their cattle purchases to be made in the cash market.

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