5.22.20 OCM Trustbusters Weekly News Roundup


For OCM members, a roundup of the week’s news concerning corporate consolidation and monopoly power in food and agriculture.

May 22, 2020

OCM Press Release

For OCM members, a roundup of the week’s news concerning corporate consolidation and monopoly power in food and agriculture.

May 22, 2020

OCM Press Release

OCM Calls for Moratorium on Beef Imports

OCM’s call for a ban comes after reports of beef shortages at the same time that producers are struggling to find markets for their cattle.  Also during this time, Brazil-based JBS, the world’s largest meatpacking company, has announced that it is poised to flood the American market with its imported beef.

“The market disruption caused by Covid-19 has left cattle producers hurting across the country.  Low prices, processing bottlenecks and drought have put unprecedented pressure on American farmers and ranchers,” said OCM Interim Executive Director Ben Gotschall. “In the absence of Country of Origin Labeling, to continue to allow imported cattle and foreign beef to unfairly compete with domestic producers and products is kicking American ranchers while they are down.”

OCM In the News

The Fence Post | May 20, 2020

Trump Remarks on Imports Cause Stir Among Cattle Groups

Today, the Organization for Competitive Markets said it had sent Perdue a letter calling on him to follow Trump’s suggestion yesterday to terminate the importation of cattle into the United States.

“While we agree with that strategy, we feel it does not go far enough,” said OCM Interim Executive Director Ben Gotschall. “The U.S. must also ban beef imports, especially beef imported from Brazil. The February 2020 lift of the ban on Brazilian beef imports, which we opposed, was a mistake, and needs to be reversed.

More in Antitrust and Corporate Power

Jeremy Scahill | The Intercept Podcast | 5/20/2020

“The Jungle” and the Pandemic: The Meat Industry, Coronavirus, and an Economy in Crisis

As Trump claims the meat industry is back on track, meat plant workers are getting sick in droves. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the industry consistently maintains the highest workplace injury rate among manufacturing and private industry. Journalist Ted Genoways, author of “The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food,” discusses the lives and deaths of meat workers and looks back at Upton Sinclair’s novel “The Jungle” and its parallels to the modern meat industry.

Claire Kelloway | The Hill | 5/18/2020

How Enforcing Antitrust Rules Can Help Our E-waste Crisis

For decades, dominant manufacturers have used nefarious tactics to corner repair markets so that we must rely on them — and only them — to fix our things. They’ve also figured out that they can design less durable items or even design them to be unrepairable, to extract more profits from consumers. While it’s a money-making proposition for these corporations, it’s a losing proposition for consumers and the planet.

Dairy Industry News

Lilliana Byington | Food Dive | May 20,2020

DFA hit with antitrust lawsuit tied to Dean Foods acquisition

An antitrust lawsuit was filed against Dairy Farmers of America in federal court Tuesday challenging its $433 million acquisition of the majority of Dean Foods’ assets. Food Lion and the Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, filed the suit in North Carolina.

The complaint claims DFA is “an aspiring monopolist” that will compel cooperatives and independent dairy farmers to either join DFA or cease to exist. This harm will be particularly strong in the areas around milk processing plants in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Dennis Rudat | Michigan Farm News | May 15, 2020

Dean Foods Fails to Pay Dairy Farmers for April Milk

Dean Foods, debtor-in-possession (DIP), failed to meet its payment obligations to three Federal Milk Marketing Orders (FMMO) with May 12 due dates, as required by Federal milk marketing order regulations for April 2020 milk production.

The payments, officially known as Producer Settlement Funds (PSF), were not made for the Appalachian, Florida, and the Southeast FMMOs on or before the May 12 due date.

While PSF payment due dates vary in each of the 11 FMMOs nationwide, it’s unclear if Dean Foods will make its remaining payments due to dairy farmers in the other eight orders as well.

Organization For Competitive Markets
P.O. Box 6486
Lincoln, NE 68506
United States