The Organization for Competitive Markets presents Senate testimony today calling for a ban on packer ownership and to transform captive supply contracts into an open, public bid market. OCM also calls for specific reform of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s enforcement infrastructure under the Packers & Stockyards Act. A copy of the Written Testimony is attached to this press release. The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Nutrition convenes the hearing to discuss two matters: (1) legislation that would prohibit packer ownership of livestock, and (2) USDA’s enforcement of the Packers & Stockyards Act.
“The role of government in the marketplace is to create and maintain the infrastructure for the most people and companies to engage in commerce,” says OCM. “This is similar to the internet and the U.S. highway system. The internet is not commerce, but it facilitates commerce. We would not allow four companies to dominate the majority of the internet because we would then quash or displace too much commerce by others. But we are quashing a tremendous volume of rural commerce by allowing domination of the livestock marketing system.”