Biden’s Plan To Address Meat-Price Inflation Ignores That Federal Intervention Caused the Problem

President Joe Biden, and his Administration are MoveTo combat inflation in the meat industry. However, the proposed government solutions to this largely government-created disaster will only serve to exacerbate existing problems.

Biden’s administration recognizes many meat industry problems as real and urgently needs to be fixed. The administration claims that meat prices have soared. It’s so true. The Administration claims that Packing meatIndustry is Highly consolidatedNearly 75% of the 8 pounds of beef we consume each year is processed by four large companies. It’s also true. It was also very true. 20 years ago 100 Years ago.) The Biden administration is also argued large meatpackers have been busy “raising prices, underpaying farmers—and tripling their profit margins during the pandemic.” True also.

According to the Biden administration, meat prices have skyrocketed largely because of industry consolidation and lack competition.

“A dominant middleman can control so much of the supply chains, it allows them to increase their own.” Profits at the expense of both farmers—who make less—and consumers—who pay more,” the administration Annouced This week. “Most farmers have no buyer or choice for their products and very little negotiation leverage, which has caused their share of each dollar they spend on food to drop.”

But that analysis conveniently ignores the role of the federal government in creating and maintaining the very system—It is the best thing the administration says eliminates the choices and leverage farmers and ranchers should have—that the Biden administration is decrying loudly.

Regular Americans have seen the weakness of the country’s biggest meat producers, as the pandemic. ExplainedIn 2020, the “real obstacle” that prevents ranchers and farmers who use these facilities from providing more meat to more Americans will be an old federal law. This outdated federal law props up large processors and prohibits local meat producers selling steaks and roasts to customers in supermarkets and at farmers markets.

It is because all farmers and ranchers that want their meat to be sold commercially or resold in the country have to slaughter their animals in USDA-inspected slaughterhouses. An inspector has to inspect each animal before it’s killed. To be commercially sold, the meat must also be processed. This includes cutting into steaks and cured. In a USDA-inspected processing plant. The availability of processing and slaughter facilities is limited for small-scale farmers and ranchers. Additionally, many plants are not owned by the large businesses that cater to these farmers and ranchers. The current system presents a major hurdle for small farmers and ranchers, as all of this shows. 

This system can be opted out by farmers who have their animals killed and then processed at a facility that isn’t inspected by USDA. Those farmers cannot sell the meat of those animals commercially. Most farmers that have their livestock slaughtered in state-inspected plants can’t sell the inspected meat to anyone else.

As a fix, the Biden administration proposes, under a wordy header announced this week—the Biden-Harris Administration Action Plan for Fairer, more Competitive and Resilient Poultry and Meat Supply Chain—to give $1 billion to smaller meat processors so that they can ramp up their production efforts, which would in theory provide farmers and ranchers with more choices for slaughter and processing. Other elements are also included in the plan. Included“Kicking off a new portal that will allow ranchers and farmers to report abusive trade practices by meatpackers,”

What difference will that make? Do not be discouraged.

Many of the problems that plague its meat inspection scheme have been known by USDA for many decades. In my book I detail these issues. The Hands That Feed Us: Why Would Fewer and Smarter Laws Make our Food System more Sustainable?When the agency requested a study on ways to simplify these regulations ten years ago, its authors concluded that “no one at the USDA nor. . . Working as professionals in the meat industry[s]There will never be any streamlining of regulations.”

People who are concerned about small farmers or the animals they rear have tried various solutions, despite righteous pessimism. In a I described the PRIME Act as a huge bill which has failed repeatedly to pass Congress. PieceThe The HillIn 2018, states will have the right to regulate animal slaughter within their own borders. Although there are local solutions available, the federal government tends not to take them seriously or attempts to. States like WyomingColorado, which have tried to make federal law more favorable to local competition, have come up against DangersFrom overzealous USDA bureaucrats.

Before Joe Biden won the election, and even before he was elected, there were many people who criticized him. arguedIt seemed that his administration was preparing itself to replicate the mistakes made by previous administrations in food policy. This is what the Biden administration did.