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The Obama Administration will be taking a close look at market concentration in agriculture as part of its stepped-up enforcement of antitrust laws, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Farmers and ranchers have long been concerned about consolidation in food packaging and distribution. And in recent years many have sounded the alarm bell about the dominance of Monsanto in particular in the market for soybean, corn and other seeds. Monsanto dominates the genetically modified (GMO) seed business, which in turn increasingly dominates seed sales as a whole. Earlier this year Monsanto acquired WestBred, a Montana wheat seed company. In an opinion piece on NewWest.Net, Kristina Hubbard, a consultant to the Farmer to Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering said the deal threatened to further Monsanto's dominance and called for closer antitrust scrutiny of the company. The Journal reported that federal antitrust enforcers were looking at GMO seeds, dairy processing and meat packing. "Washington has often sympathized with farmers who find themselves selling their commodities to fewer and larger processors. But the Obama administration is taking a further step, with plans for a nationwide series of sessions next year for the U.S. Agriculture Department to hear competitive concerns of farmers," according to the Journal.

Monsanto, Ag Industry Face Antitrust Scrutiny

The Obama Administration will be taking a close look at market concentration in agriculture as part of its stepped-up enforcement of antitrust laws, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Farmers and ranchers have long been concerned about consolidation in food packaging and distribution. And in recent years many have sounded the alarm bell about the dominance of Monsanto in particular in the market for soybean, corn and other seeds. Monsanto dominates the genetically modified (GMO) seed business, which in turn increasingly dominates seed sales as a whole.

Earlier this year Monsanto acquired WestBred, a Montana wheat seed company. In an opinion piece on NewWest.Net, Kristina Hubbard, a consultant to the Farmer to Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering said the deal threatened to further Monsanto’s dominance and called for closer antitrust scrutiny of the company.

The Journal reported that federal antitrust enforcers were looking at GMO seeds, dairy processing and meat packing.

“Washington has often sympathized with farmers who find themselves selling their commodities to fewer and larger processors. But the Obama administration is taking a further step, with plans for a nationwide series of sessions next year for the U.S. Agriculture Department to hear competitive concerns of farmers,” according to the Journal.

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3 comments

  1. Good!

    Just read the latest Trader’s Dispatch last night, which among numerous other things contains the latest winter wheat variety test results. And, not to digress immediately, but the Dispatch remains one of the very few publications I can’t usually get through in one sitting, and now they’re finally online (although not the August version, at least as of tonight), http://www.tradersdispatch.com

    No big surprise, but most of the varieties are “protected”. Fortunately, there are still at least some public varieties out there, and I was struck that some of them do at least as well, and in cases exceed the yields of the Monsanto Model.
    So I’ll be looking for some of one of those unrestricted public varieties, as the Rockpile is finally getting cleaned up to the point where I might be able to get winter wheat back into the rotation, thank God!
    It definitely won’t be a “protected” variety, though. I did that once, in a former life up on the Hi-Line. NEVER AGAIN!! You have to sign your life away, and in my case at least, the potential yield advantage just isn’t there. So you tell me, why should I sign up?

    I can’t elaborate further without using F words, so I’ll just leave it at that. Well, almost. Monsanto can ___ off, far as I’m concerned.

  2. there is a growing concern in the US that unlabled GMO food are causing un-diagnosed allergies such as Morgellons

  3. Gretchen Luxenblouer

    Aspartame, DDT, Agent Orange, Sachrine, PCBs,

    GMO FOOD….. hello, you still there?