Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act Passes House Ag Committee
Agriculture groups are finding themselves on opposite sides of a new piece of federal legislation.
The Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022 passed the House Agriculture Committee this week on a 27-21 vote.
The bill creates a new office in the U.S. Department of Agriculture which would oversee agricultural markets. It would also have the authority to investigate, subpoena, and prosecute meat packers and live poultry dealers accused of wrongdoing.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has condemned the Act. Their Vice President of Government Affairs, Ethan Lane, says the legislation was rushed through the legislative process “without consideration of the confusing bureaucratic mess it would create.”
But, as I said, there is disagreement in the industry.
The National Farmers Union says the bill would increase enforcement of competition laws and boost USDA’s resources to investigate abusive market practices. According to NFU President Rob Larew, “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.”