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Was the "fix" in, or just another coincidence?

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Well-known member
Feb 11, 2005
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South East Kansas
Two weeks ago U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns commented
publicly that beef prices in the U.S. were too high and he suggested
that opening U.S. borders to Canadian cattle would drive down cattle
prices. In stark contrast, six days after Johanns'
announcement, USDA released economic data showing that
cattlemen's' share of the retail beef dollar has not changed,
while the retail and wholesale margins continue to widen to historic
levels. USDA's data tells the whole story about just which part
of the meat industry is reaping profits under today's beef
prices. The economic harvest is not trickling down to grassroots
producers, but it's certainly lining the pockets of the retail
and processing sector.

The day after Sec. Johanns stated that beef prices were too high, he
announced that a cow declared BSE-free last November was being
retested after a tissue sample showed "weakly reactive" results.
Johanns said that tissue samples had been flown to a laboratory in
England for definitive results, even though last November we were
told USDA was using the "gold standard" BSE test. Markets reacted
violently and they still haven't settled.

Secretary Johann's comment about beef prices being too high
would seem to indicate concern for consumers. But his efforts to
restore beef exports to Japan would cause consumer beef prices to rise.
By law the Secretary is supposed to work to protect the health and
value of American agriculture. Instead, he is working to protect the
health and value of certain packers.

USDA's philosophy has clearly become "what's good for the
packers is good for America." We challenge anyone to find a policy
adopted or implemented by USDA during the last decade that favored
grassroots producers over the packers.

Remember this: the opposite of favoritism is discrimination. Perhaps
seeking relief from the courts will end USDA's pattern of
discriminatory behavior towards U.S. cattlemen

Randy Stevenson
Double S Livestock

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