The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) today affirmed its longstanding opposition to efforts to prohibit a meat packing company’s ability to own livestock and a producer’s ability to choose to forward contract with packers. The Meat Institute reiterated its position after Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) again introduced legislation previously considered and rejected that would make it illegal for vertically integrated companies to raise and process livestock and that could also make marketing agreements between packers and producers illegal.

A Congressionally-mandated and USDA-Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA)-funded Research Triangle Institute (RTI) Livestock and Meat Marketing Study analyzed the issue when similar efforts to ban packer ownership of livestock were under consideration. That report concluded that such a ban would not cause livestock prices to increase and would harm producers for a variety of reasons.The report also found the U.S. livestock and meat marketing complex to be dynamic and competitive.   

“We share Senator Grassley’s desire for an ‘effective and efficient marketplace’ and that is exactly what dozens of studies affirm we have,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter. “Dismantling our dynamic livestock and meat production and marketing system will only turn the clock back on progress and hurt producers, packers and the consuming public in the process.”