J. Dudley Butler Throws in the Towel

I just came across this bit of news. This man actually tried to do the right thing in an agency that is completely off it’s rocker. I met him at the R Calf USA Annual Convention right after his appointment was confirmed. A great number of the members of R Calf were tremendously excited because they knew J. Dudley, and truly believed that he could get the Anti-Trust laws that are on the books enforced. Unfortunately, he was just one card in the entire stack, and couldn’t achieve anything really positive against the corporate stranglehold of consolidation that is so evident in every segment of agriculture and the food supply.

He tried, and for that I commend him. That he couldn’t get it done ought to really illustrate the depth of the problem we face in this nation as a result of allowing this consolidated, centralized system to continue.

Buy local, buy direct, and reclaim your right to eat what you want to eat from those you want to procure it from. Don’t think the USDA is going to help you get anything positive done, folks. They are Uncle Sam Destroying Agriculture……

Here is the article on J. Dudley Butler:

A top federal antitrust regulator for meat companies is stepping down.

J. Dudley Butler will end his tenure next week as head of the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration, two people familiar with the matter said Thursday.

Butler oversaw key parts of the Obama administration’s effort to pass sweeping antitrust reforms covering the meat packing industry.

A heated fight over the regulations pitted small farmers and ranchers against some of the nation’s biggest meat companies. The effort ended late last year after Congress killed funding for the proposed regulations.

The Packers and Stockyards Administration has special antitrust authority over the nation’s biggest meatpackers and poultry companies. During Butler’s tenure, the PSA sought to expand its authority by giving greater protection to chicken farmers and cattle ranchers; in part; the reforms would have made it easier for farmers to sue packers over such issues as the prices packers pay or which production costs they cover.

Big meat companies opposed Butler’s appointment in May, 2009. An attorney for more than 30 years, he had specialized in suing big companies like Tyson Foods Inc. on behalf of farmers.

After Butler took over the PSA, the Obama administration started trying to overhaul the agency. In June 2010, Butler and his team proposed rules the Department of Agriculture said would benefit consumers by stoking competition among the handful of companies that produce most of the nation’s meat. Just four companies process about 80 percent of all beef in the United States.

The rule would have prevented meatpackers from showing preference to big feedlots by offering them special incentives, and it would have limited the control chicken processors have over farmers they contract with by barring them from requiring farmers to bear the full cost of improving their facilities.

Meat companies said the new regulations would have added extra costs and further cut already-thin profit margins. And, in November, Congress barred the USDA from funding the new rules.

In December, the USDA adopted a radically stripped down version. The final measure requires meat companies to let farmers opt out of arbitration clauses in their contracts. The other measures were abandoned or made into optional guidelines for the agriculture secretary to consider when judging if a meat company violates the Packers and Stockyards Act.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2012/01/19/2181544/top-meat-antitrust-regulator-quits.html#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpy
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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Richard Butler
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 16:16:37

    where is there a listing of how members of Congress voted on this funding?

    Reply

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