North American Meat Institute Changes To Packers & Stockyards Act Will Not Affect Competition

The latest attempt by the Biden Administration to disrupt the meat and poultry industry with changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act’s (PSA) regulations does nothing to encourage competition and instead attempts to give new authorities to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to exert federal control over business contracts.

“The Biden Administration says these changes to the PSA’s regulations are about increasing competition, but they have nothing to do with competition,” said Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of the Meat Institute. “These changes are simply an attempt to assert even more federal authority to regulate the equities of industry business practices, clogging the federal courts with every contract dispute. Congress never intended to give the agency such broad-ranging authority over meat industry contracts and practices, regardless of their effect on competition – and the courts have agreed.”

For more on legal precedent and congressional intent, see the Meat Institute’s comments regarding the proposed rule.
“While the actions described by USDA have no place in the meat industry, other federal statutes and state laws already exist to address the rare instances in which they may occur,” Potts said. “An antitrust statute is not the appropriate statute for these rules.”

“At a time when Americans are paying more and more for food, the President and his Administration continue to pursue policies that will be directly responsible for the increased cost of meat for consumers,” Potts said. “From Secretary Vilsack’s proposed changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act’s rules to USDA’s delayed modernization of pork inspection to EPA’s proposed wastewater guidelines, these policies will prove costly to the 98 percent of American households who purchase meat to feed their families.”

About the Meat Institute

The Meat Institute is the United States’ oldest and largest trade association representing packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal, turkey, and processed meat products. Meat Institute members include over 350 meat packing and processing companies, the majority of which have fewer than 100 employees, and account for over 95 percent of the United States’ output of meat and 70 percent of turkey production.