Tags: Food and Farm Meatpackers Antitrust

Republicans Question Proposed Meatpacking Reforms

Monday, 14 Feb 2011 02:44 PM

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Obama administration's effort to overhaul antitrust rules for the meatpacking industry has run into strong opposition from Republicans in Congress.

Among other things, the reforms would make it easier for farmers to sue meatpackers on antitrust grounds. To win a lawsuit now, farmers must prove a company's actions hurt competition in the entire industry. Under the new rule, they would only need to prove they personally were harmed.

Farmers say the change will give them a voice in dealing with meatpackers.

But Republicans including Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas say they're worried the new rules would hurt meat companies. Lucas is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. He says the U.S. Department of Agriculture must work to change the minds of skeptical committee members and others interested in the ruling.

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