FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2022
Contact: Lyndsey Medsker
Lmedsker@nfudc.org, (202) 557-5328
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 7606, the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022. The bill would increase enforcement of competition laws and boost USDA’s resources to investigate abusive market practices.
“Passage of this bill is a priority for National Farmers Union (NFU) and our ‘Fairness for Farmers’ campaign,” said NFU President Rob Larew. “Laws intended to protect markets from monopolies and anti-competitive practices in agriculture are not being adequately enforced. Greater enforcement of competition laws by USDA will better ensure America’s independent family farmers and ranchers have a chance to succeed in today’s marketplace, now dominated by monopolies,” added Larew. “While there are many more measures needed to ensure a fair marketplace, the action during this week’s House Agriculture Committee markup is a big step forward.”
“I would like to thank Chairman David Scott for his leadership and the House cosponsors of the bill, in particular Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, for their outspoken advocacy on behalf of family farmers and ranchers,” said Larew. “NFU members traveled to Washington, D.C. in late April to advocate for this and other priorities, and it is especially encouraging to see the bill make its way further through the legislative process.”
NFU’s “Fairness for Farmers” campaign has brought the devastating impact of monopolies on family agriculture into the national spotlight. Campaign priorities include addressing issues such as increased enforcement of competition laws that can combat excessive costs for fertilizer, supply chain vulnerabilities, and increased farm equipment costs.
Among other actions taken by the House Agriculture Committee was the approval of H.R. 7675, which would establish an Agricultural and Food System Supply Chain Resilience and Crisis Response Task Force. The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Angie Craig of Minnesota, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Ashley Hinson of Iowa, Cynthia Axne of Iowa, and Randy Feenstra of Iowa.
“Family farmers and ranchers know the importance of having a resilient food supply chain, and this bill will help to make sure that we can overcome the weaknesses of the current system,” said Larew. “The task force will help identify answers so that we’re better prepared for future challenges and a stronger system in general.”
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of more than 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.