Corporate Farming Notes

Groups Oppose Meatpacking Giant’s Purchase
On December 21, 43 livestock, farm, and consumer organizations urged the US Department of Justice to undertake a vigorous review of meatpacking giant JBS’s proposed acquisition of beef packing plants in Nampa, Idaho, and Omaha, Nebraska. Specifically, their letter called on the Justice Department to “undertake an expanded, probing, and in-depth investigation into the proposal by JBS USA to acquire two US-based beef packing plants owned by Canadian-based XL Four Star Beef.”

JBS is already the largest cattle feeder and packer in the US, not to mention globally. And given that the four largest beef packers already control over 80 percent of US beef packing, we’d all be well served in joining these organizations. Contact me to learn how to urge Justice to oppose this merger (402.687.2100 or johnc@cfra.org).

Meat Labeling Law Scrutinized
The World Trade Organization (WTO) has directed the United States to modify its country of origin labeling (COOL) law for red meat no later than May 23, 2013. Last June, a three-judge appellant panel appointed by the WTO that included a Mexican national ruled against the US over the America meat labeling law.

The case, brought by Canada and Mexico, was supported by multinational meatpackers. The WTO tribunal insisted the labeling law be rescinded or revised in half the time necessary under US law.

Citizen Action Stops Mega-Dairy
At the close of 2012, attorneys for California dairy magnate A.J. Bos recorded the sale of the last parcels of a mega-dairy site near Nora, Illinois. Bos originally purchased 1,401 acres of prime farmland in 2008. He had sold all but the nearly unfarmable 326 acres involved in this sale.

It’s worth noting that this represents a final and absolute victory of local citizens and their organization – HOMES – over Bos and his mega-dairy.

The HOMES website is www.StopTheMegaDairy.org. It offers a timeline of events and links to resources for other communities facing similar issues.