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by Dan Burns
Dec 20, 2023, 7:30 AM

AG Ellison goes after Big Ag

I don’t trouble to conceal my general loathing of Big Ag, and it is with delighted interest that I’ve been reading of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s efforts to start properly dealing with it. For example, from early November:

Today, Attorney General Keith Ellison, on behalf of the State of Minnesota, led a bipartisan coalition of states in joining the United States’ civil antitrust lawsuit against Agri Stats, Inc. for organizing and managing anticompetitive information exchanges among broiler chicken, pork and turkey processors. The lawsuit alleges that Agri Stats violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by collecting, integrating, and distributing competitively sensitive information related to price, cost, and output among competing meat processors, which has resulted in higher prices for American consumers.

“Minnesotans should be able to trust that they are getting a fair price for the food they buy to feed themselves and their families,” said Attorney General Ellison. “A big reason why our paychecks aren’t covering as much as they used to is because corporate profiteers are manipulating markets to line their pockets and stifle competition.
(Minnesota AG website)

Yes, “markets” are absolutely being rigged, in many ways. It’s been going on for a long time, and it’s good to see that at least some people with some political power are willing to start trying to change that for the better. It won’t happen quickly or easily, though.

This article from the StarTribune has more on what Ellison’s office, and others, are doing.

As that article notes, for the forces of righteousness to win in court vs. Big Ag hasn’t been common. You know how a lot of Bush/Trump-appointed “judges” are. That can change, but what’s really needed are expansive legislative efforts. Which depend first and foremost on our side winning more elections.

On a related matter, though I’ve thought about it quite a bit I honestly won’t even presume to guess at how many farmers really do hate having things run by Big Ag, and how many just claim they do. In the past I’ve believed that a substantial majority were of the former persuasion, but now I’m not nearly so sure about that. It doesn’t seem to make a difference to how the majority of them vote, in any case.

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