Food inflation or profiteering

To the editor:

A recent article in the Herald-Star on July 31, “West Virginia puts financial firms on restricted list over environmental policies,” paints a mirror image of recent developments in the beef industry.

Four multinational corporations now control more than 80 percent of the processed beef market in the United States. Now take an eccentric environmental group known as the World Wildlife Fund, “with a director known for wanting to eliminate animal agriculture,” add a few national food chains, major U.S. banks and large industries, all of which have one thing in common — they want to control you and extract as much of the food dollar as possible. And we call this group the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.

How are they doing this? Simply by putting more regulations on the cattlemen and women in this country, then forcing them to comply with meaningless procedures and paperwork and removing tools that have been used for decades with no guarantee of profit or break even, while exempted foreign countries fill the retail freezer space in your local stores.

Then, to add insult to injury, they even have every cattleman paying for it through a checkoff program that puts more than $28 million in the fund of the largest organization fighting against independent cattlemen, the NCBA.

Today we have foreign beef entering this country, being unpackaged then repackaged and labeled “Product of USA.”

This is where every food-consuming person in the United States can help: Senate Bill 2716 and House bill HR 7291 would prevent foreign beef as being labeled “Product of USA” and only cattle born, raised and harvested in a U.S. plant would qualify for that label. During the last 25 years, the United States has lost more than 80,000 farmer feedlots, and we lose more than 15,000 cattle operations every year. The farmers’ share of the beef dollar has shrunk from more than 60 percent in 1985 to just 35 percent today.

We desperately need your help now by calling your congressman and senators and asking for support on these bills, also known as the American Beef Labeling Act.

The green sustainability movement is not only killing the coal, oil and gas industries in our great country, but also the cattle industry.

Dave Hyde



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