Third-party candidate Ralph Nader made a swing through the state of Iowa today, including a lunchtime stop at “Pro’s Sandwich Shop” in Mason City. Nader says the nation’s antitrust laws should be used to break up giant agri-businesses that are “squeezing the family farmer and rancher.” He says rural America and the small-farm economy is in jeopardy, because he charges giants like Tyson, ADM and Cargill are moving to integrate agriculture into “giant production units from the farm to the supermarket.” Nader says family farmers need to organize better against corporate America to level the playing field. Nader says a group called the Organization for Competitive Markets, made up of small farmers including people in Iowa got together to announce that they can’t get a decent price for their product and are squeezed by giant buyers whose “vertical integration of industrial agriculture” is going to push them off the land. Nader says their only other alternative now is becoming contract partners like they have in poultry processing, which he charges “reduces them to peonage.” Nader also stopped today in Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids, and will make an appearance at the University of Iowa in Iowa City tonight.
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