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New Bill Enacting Food and Agribusiness Merger Moratorium Necessary

The lack of open, competitive markets is hurting farmers and rural communities

A bill introduced in Congress today that would temporarily halt agribusiness mergers and launch an effort to improve antitrust enforcement is urgently needed for family farmers struggling with noncompetitive markets that are influencing high costs and low prices, says the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).

"We've seen a series of major mergers in the last several years, particularly in the seed industry, that have greatly reduced competition and options for farmers," said Ben Lilliston, IATP's Director of Climate and Rural Strategies. "What is good for agribusiness profits is not the same as what is good for farmers."

Last month, cattle ranchers urged the Justice Department to block a proposed merger between Iowa Premium and Brazilian-owned National Beef Packing Company. The merger would further concentrate the beef sector, where only four companies control 85 percent of the market.

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