Senator Chuck Grassley says his bid to ban meatpackers from owning livestock has been deleted from the latest version of the Farm Bill. Grassley sits on the conference committee hammering out details of the Farm Bill. Grassley says there are "serious problems with competition in agriculture" and it makes sense to forbid packers from owning livestock from birth to slaughter.
Grassley says packer ownership of cattle and hogs distorts the marketplace so other farmers can’t get a fair price for their livestock. But last night Farm Bill negotiators voted and a majority agreed to strike Grassley’s packer ownership ban from the bill. Both of Iowa’s U.S. Senators are involved in Farm Bill negotiations. Senator Tom Harkin is co-chair of the panel working to find compromise on the legislation.