In a guest editorial in the Sioux City Journal, AMI president and CEO J. Patrick Boyle strongly warned about the consequences from a measure contained in the 2007 Farm Bill that would ban packer ownership of animals.
“Banning the ability of a company or an individual to both own and process an animal would set America’s meat industry back decades and forever handicap the market-driven, progressive steps the industry has embraced over the last 100 years,” says Boyle. “Agreements between producers and processors allow U.S. meatpackers to deliver products of consistent value and unequaled quality to consumers in the U.S. and across the globe.”
Boyle argues that packer ownership ban “places our meat sector - but not the poultry sector - at a competitive disadvantage by forbidding companies to own the raw materials they use to make their finished products.”
“If Congress insists on undoing this progress by banning a company’s ability to both own and process animals for meat, it should know in advance that it will imperil the long-term health of our farm and meat sectors and potentially reduce the quality and consistency of the products we offer consumers,” he concluded.
Boyle compared the non-native vine Kudzu, which now covers 7 million acres in the Southeast, to the packer ownership ban. “Driving through the American south, it’s easy to see, firsthand, the law of unintended consequence,” he says. “Oftentimes, the actions that lead to unintended and dramatic consequences occur because of decisions made outside the realm of public scrutiny, careful study and thorough discourse.”