Special Commission Appointed to Investigate Packers Makes Report

National Farmers’ Union | Salina, Kansas | August 22, 1918

Declare the Five Big Packers Control One-Half of Meat Supply of Allied Nations — Have Used Their Power to Manipulate Livestock Market.

President Wilson has made public the recently filed report of the special commission appointed some time ago to investigate the alleged monopolies tie to the control of the meat industry by the big packing companies. The commission declares that the five big packers control half of the meat supply of the allied nations and that the power of the companies has been used to manipulate the live stock market, restrict food supplies and nationally and internationally, control the price of meats and meat substitutes, defraud both consumers and producers of food, destroy competition in the buying and selling of meat, secure special privileges from railroads and municipalities and make unwarranted profits.

The five packing companies thus referred to are Swift & Co., Armour & Co., the Cudahy company, Wilson & Co. and Morris & Co.

The commission makes the following recommendations to the president:

Government Take Charge – First – that the government acquire, through the railroad administration, all rolling stock used for the transportation of meat animals and the such ownership be declared a government monopoly …

Today, January 3, 2014, four international meat packers control over 85% of the U.S. market. Aligned with the biggest retailers and food service companies, they are taking advantage of both producers and consumers. Never before have the livestock markets been so concentrated, so abusive and so unfair.

– Mike Callicrate

Is there anything we can do today about the unprecedented abusive market power of big agribusiness companies?

Yes there is: See address by veteran ag attorney, David Domina, to the 2014 Nebraska Farmers Union Convention.

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