Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa wants to ban meat packers from owning livestock.
He introduced a bill in the Senate calling for the ban which he says is necessary because there has been so much concentration of ownership in the livestock industry.
Independent producers have fewer choices for where to buy from and sell to, said Grassley, who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and also a member of the Agriculture Committee.
He has introduced similar versions of the packer ban in previous Congresses and had challenged both JBS USA’s acquisition of Cargill Inc.’s pork unit and Tyson Foods’ purchase of Hillshire Brands.
“An effective and efficient marketplace is one where packers that control all harvest capacity of the industry do not also own a majority of the animals to be processed,” Grassley said in a statement.
“The fact of the matter is that the market continues to become less competitive. It’s time to see if ending packer ownership of livestock will reverse that trend.”