National Farmers Union in the United States has said that the enforcement of agricultural antitrust laws has been nearly nonexistent for the past decade, leading to expedited consolidation and concentration within nearly every sector of agriculture.
In a letter to Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Administrator Dudley Butler, the NFU Board of Directors said it is GIPSA’s responsibility to maintain fair trade practices in the marketing of livestock, provide financial protection for participants in livestock transactions and ensure open competitive marketing conditions for livestock and meat.
“It appears farmers and ranchers have been fighting anti-competitive practices with one hand tied behind their backs,” the board wrote. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Government Accountability Office (GAO) have both found GIPSA has failed to meet its responsibilities.
“America’s independent farmers and ranchers are looking to you reverse the history of inaction at GIPSA,” the board wrote. “We applaud and thank you for your continued support of the agricultural industry and look forward to working with you to ensure the restoration of competitive markets.”