FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2023
Media Contact: Dee Laninga, dlaninga, 202-450-0094
Ag Appropriations Bill Aims to Kill USDA Meatpacking Competition Rulemaking
Republican House Appropriators Cave to Corporate Meatpacking Lobby
Washington, D.C. — The FY24 Agriculture Appropriations bill and summary released this morning by the House Appropriations Committee included a harmful provision to prevent USDA from writing, preparing, or publishing proposed rules.
The rules in question, called for in the Biden administration’s Executive Order on Competition, are meant to strengthen the Packers and Stockyards Act, a landmark law intended to protect farmers and ranchers from abusive and anti-competitive behavior.
“We are disappointed that Republican House Appropriators caved to the corporate meatpacking lobby and effectively sold out America’s farmers and ranchers. We urge the House Appropriations Committee to reconsider this provision,” said Farm Action President Joe Maxwell.
This is not the first time lawmakers have sided with corporate monopolies regarding marketplace protections. In 2011, a prohibition against similar rulemaking known as the “GIPSA Rider” caught national attention.
For years, the meatpacking industry repeatedly, successfully lobbied to add the GIPSA Rider to the appropriations bill, unnecessarily dragging out the rulemaking process. In 2015 this fight was highlighted by comedian John Oliver in a widely watched segment of his HBO program. That year, the GIPSA Rider ultimately did not pass, but attacks on Packers and Stockyards Act rules have continued.
“We beat the meatpackers back in 2015 and we won’t stop until we do it again,” concluded Maxwell.
Farm Action is a farmer-led organization fighting corporate monopolies in agriculture. We envision a fair, sustainable, and healthy food system that empowers farmers, ranchers, and rural communities to feed their neighbors.