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Competition Title Needed To Ensure Fair Play

by 5m Editor
24 September 2007, at 10:40am

US - Any day now, the Senate will get busy on its version of the 2007 Farm Bill. The only thing certain is that senators will do little good and much harm and be as hypocritical as they can be in the process, but there is a possibility, slim but real, that they will have to get serious with a group of bills that, taken together, make up what is called the Competition Title.

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The way things are now, this handful of packers and processors and grain dealers - Tyson, Smithfield, Swift, Cargill, ADM, Pilgrim's Pride, Sanderson and a few others - have all the power, and the independent farmers, ranchers and growers have none.

By John Jeter

The farm bill has not previously had a Competition Title - in the context of the farm bill, a Title is the same thing as a Chapter - and there are some big, powerful businesses and powerful people that will do anything to keep it that way.

What we should hope for and agitate for is that the Competition Title gets the attention it deserves and becomes the stick of dynamite it has the potential to be.

If the Competition Title does make its way into the farm bill, the whole fraternity of agribusiness big shots will be squealing louder than a barn full of their pigs, and it will be a sound delightful to hear.

The Competition Title is mainly concerned with livestock - cattle, hogs, poultry - and aims to end the unfair, anti-competitive, and arm-twisting practices of the cartel of corporations that have a stranglehold on the markets in them and on the farmers and ranchers who raise them.

It also aims to end the power these companies have over government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The way things are now, this handful of packers and processors and grain dealers - Tyson, Smithfield, Swift, Cargill, ADM, Pilgrim's Pride, Sanderson and a few others - have all the power, and the independent farmers, ranchers and growers have none.

Source: ClarionLedger

5m Editor