Meat Lobbyists Argue Rule May Destroy Jobs
The Associated Press reports that a meat industry lobbying group is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to withdraw a proposed antitrust rule that it claims will raise meat prices and destroy jobs. The rule would bar meatpackers from discriminating between cattle producers when purchasing product. It also would limit the amount of personal investment that poultry companies require their farmers to make. Some ranchers and chicken farmers say the rule is needed to give them more bargaining power with meat companies. The American Meat Institute, which represents companies such as Tyson Foods Inc., JBS SA and Smithfield Foods Inc., commissioned an economic impact study of the rule. It says the study shows retail meat prices could rise by 3.33 percent if the rule is passed. Passing the rule would also destroy 104,000 jobs, according to the study.