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Axne on House Panel Examining Lack of Concentration in Meatpacking Industry

Congresswoman Cindy Axne (D-West Des Moines)

WASINGTON D.C. (Radio Iowa) Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne says urgent action in congress is necessary to address the lack of competition in the meatpacking industry. The C-E-Os of the four companies that control 80 percent of the beef processing in America testified at a House Ag Committee hearing this week. Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines, is a member of the committee.

“Today consumers are literally paying more for their beef, producers are getting less for their cattle and yet your four companies net income has reached record highs,” Axne said. A Missouri man testified that he’d contemplated suicide because of the prices he’s getting for his cattle. That prompted Axne to recite the phone number for the national suicide hotline.

“The sad part is I’m sitting here at a hearing for our cattle producers, having to put out information like that, because it’s so rough on our producers in Iowa and in other places to get ahead,” Axne said. The president of the Montana Cattlemen’s Association told Axne concentration in the meatpacking industry has made rural America a slum.

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