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Antitrust Laws Must be Enforced, Says Union

by 5m Editor
18 June 2009, at 8:54am

US - National Farmers Union said yesterday the enforcement of agricultural antitrust laws has been nearly non-existent for the past decade, leading to expedited consolidation and concentration within nearly every sector of agriculture.

In a letter to Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) administrator, Dudley Butler, the NFU Board of Directors said it is GIPSA’s responsibility to maintain fair trade practices in the marketing of livestock, provide financial protection for participants in livestock transactions and ensure open competitive marketing conditions for livestock and meat.

“It appears farmers and ranchers have been fighting anti-competitive practices with one hand tied behind their backs,” the board wrote.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Government Accountability Office (GAO) have both found GIPSA has failed to meet its responsibilities.

“America’s independent farmers and ranchers are looking to you to reverse the history of inaction at GIPSA,” the board wrote. “We applaud and thank you for your continued support of the agricultural industry and look forward to working with you to ensure the restoration of competitive markets.”