Thursday, December 16, 2010

USDA, DOJ conclude agriculture anti-trust workshop series

The workshop series about competition in the agriculture industry has resulted in better communication between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Justice, say department leaders. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack "noted that the Agriculture and Justice departments have already established a new process to handle complaints for unfair and deceptive practices in the poultry industry, and that USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration last summer published a proposed rule designed to increase fairness in the marketing of livestock and poultry," Jerry Hagstrom of the Capital Press reports.

"This not is a hand-holding exercise designed to generate favorable publicity," Holder said in a news conference. "We have done concrete things. There is a promise that comes out of what we have done." The final workshop was completed Dec. 8 in Washington, D.C. At the hearing "Vilsack repeated his previous statements that he fears consolidation in all agricultural sectors has led to population loss in rural America and said the Obama administration is determined 'to ask questions and shed light on issues that frankly have not seen light in many years,'" Hagstrom writes. (Read more)

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