KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Federal regulators are set to release the most sweeping antitrust rules covering the meat industry in decades, potentially altering the balance of power between meat companies and the farmers who raise their animals.
Activists, farmers and meat industry officials have been anxiously awaiting the new rules, which will be released this spring for public comment and are set to take effect this summer. The regulations are seen as a kind of litmus test for the Obama administration and how far it will go in regulating competition in the meat industry.
After months of uncertainty, the Senate is expected to bring pending food safety legislation to the floor within the next week.
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510), has been stalled behind health care reform and other priorities since it was unanimously voted out of committee in mid-November. The coalition of interests supporting the bill, which includes the major food industry groups, public health organizations, and consumer advocates, and Senate staff working on the bill have been waiting for a break in a busy legislative schedule to bring the bill to the floor where it is expected to pass easily with broad bipartisan support.
Earlier this week we posted an article by Jillian Fry, originally published at Center for a Livable Future, regarding recent research claims that reducing meat consumption will not result in the reduction of GHG (greenhouse gases), as environmentalists such as Paul McCartney has been promoting recently. She raises not only the questionability of accurately performed and documented research, but also questions the funding of Dr. Mitloehner's research in part by the Beef Checkoff - "a producer-funded marketing and research program designed to increase domestic and/or international demand for beef". Dr. Mitloehner responded to Jillian's article. Here is the latest from Jillian.
As a public health doctoral student, I have been taught the importance of communicating scientific information to the public, journalists, and policy makers in a careful manner, especially when dealing with complex issues. Scientific research almost never provides clear answers, but as a scientist you should never make statements that overstep the conclusions of your work, even if it would make your life easier by simplifying the message you are trying to get across.
The Obama administration's schizophrenic approach to agriculture policy—making PR gestures toward sustainable farming with one hand while nudging ahead the agendas of agribusiness giants like Monsanto and Dow Chemical with the other—was on full display this weekend when the President used a recess appointment to install Islam Siddiqui as the chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
Idabel , Okla. -- A McCurtain County jury has returned a $7.3 million verdict against Tyson Foods Inc., finding the company defrauded a group of 10 McCurtain County chicken growers through a series of deceptive and coercive business practices.
Idabel attorney Tony Benson, who helped represent the suing chicken growers, said his clients are excited about the verdict.
Federal action needed to restore domestic food system
The last thirty years have been tough times for independent livestock producers.
For decades, in addition to the hard work of keeping our farm and ranch operations running each day, we have literally been in a fight for our lives and for the life of our industry. We have lost our markets. Only the illusion of a market remains. When we lose our markets, we lose our farms and ranches, and America loses its food supply.
Once again rural America stands on the Edge of Hope
Ankeny, IA - There are moments in a nation's history that define it. For America's remaining 2 million farmers (less than 1% of the population) and the more than 300 million eaters, the recent joint Department of Justice and Department of Agriculture workshop on lack of competition in the food and agricultural sectors held in Ankeny, Iowa is potentially one of those moments.