The Department of Justice is collecting comments on “agriculture and antitrust enforcement issues in our 21st century economy.” The DOJ is trying to decide if companies are violating the nation’s monopoly rules and has asked any and everybody for their thoughts. The DOJ receives comments and posts them here.
It can make for interesting reading. For instance, there are seven state attorneys general investigating whether Monsanto’s stranglehold on genetically modified seeds violates antitrust laws. Not so Kentucky AG Jack Conway, a Democrat who is now running for the U.S. Senate. Conway has written a letter to the DOJ that asks the government to further protect the intellectual property of firms like Monsanto. “(T)hese companies can produce these types of results only if they know their intellectual property rights are assured,” Conway wrote. We assume this means Conway won’t be joining any anti-Monsanto suits.
Bryan Wolfe, a dairy farmer in Rome, Ohio, tells how the markets for his milk have been reduced since 1992, leaving him with only one buyer for his product. The National Chicken Council tells us that the contracts signed by farmers in the chicken-raising business have been good for growers. Jon McConaughy, a beef producer, laments the lack of a local slaughter house. And Monsanto has submitted a 89-page brief.