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Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies

Antitrust #60

We request both the Michigan Attorney General and the Antitrust Division of the Federal Trade Commission remain vigilant in enforcing the Sherman Antitrust Act or state and federal restraint of trade legislation. Appropriate action should be taken whenever violations are discovered.

We encourage national and state reforms to prevent monopolies from forming within the agricultural supply, processing, and service sectors where the lack of competition is counter to the interest of the independent farmer.
In the past 18 months, a lack of free market forces has become more evident within the agricultural sector. From meat packers to chemical suppliers, a lack of competition has created increased hardships for the American farmer.

We support:

  • A formal request to the Department of Justice (DOJ) by attorneys general around the United States to investigate the following sectors:
    • Meat packers, and the vertical integration of that industry.
    • The consolidation of co-ops, at all levels and in all areas.
    • The use of “loyalty agreements” by agri-chemical companies to limit the use of generic crop protection chemicals.
    • The increased consolidation of retail agri-business units.
    • The monopolistic practices of fertilizer and seed companies.
  • A formal request to the FTC by state attorneys general to investigate the consolidation of Agrium, Mosiac, CF Industries, and the creation and operation of Canpotex.
  • A formal request to the DOJ and congressional oversight committees regarding the foreign ownership and influence in American agribusiness.
  • A formal request to the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the restrictions of the manufacture of the basic “tech material” needed to formulate crop protection products.

The tenants of the Sherman Antitrust Act are essential for the continued survival and competitiveness of American agriculture. We implore state attorneys general and policy makers at all levels to remain vigilant for violations and to urge the FTC to address violations quickly and decisively.

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