Northern Plains takes on meatpacker corruption in D.C. hearing

On April 27, Grass Range rancher and Northern Plains member Gilles Stockton testified before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture about beef industry corruption. Gilles’ fearless testimony described the harm of anti-competitive behavior by the “big four” monopoly meatpackers.

“Monopoly power extracts wealth from rural communities and takes a larger share of the retail dollar away from producers like me,” Gilles told the committee. He went on to describe how businesses in his community have “dried up and blown away like a tumbleweed.”

Gilles was also featured in a Washington Post story explaining how meatpacker consolidation has diminished cattle values by almost half since he began ranching in 1975. “Out of every dollar consumers spent on beef, 71.3 cents went to the ranchers or feedlots. Now that is 36.4 cents.”

Gilles pointed to passing the American Beef Labeling Act to restore mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling and reforming the Packers and Stockyards Act to ensure full market transparency as necessary solutions to repair a corrupt system that harms ranchers, consumers, and rural communities.

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