Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
Washington, D.C. – “The biggest food and agribusiness companies exert tremendous power over our food system, prioritizing profits over public health, the environment and farming communities. We are excited to enthusiastically endorse the landmark legislation to halt the merger mania sweeping the food and agribusiness industry introduced by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Senate version of the bill in late August.
“This bill provides needed breathing space from Big Food mergers for farmers, rural communities, workers and eaters across the country. The Food and Agribusiness Merger Moratorium and Antitrust Review Act of 2018 would hit pause on the wave of mega-mergers that have hyper-consolidated the entire food chain, from seed to supermarket.
“The unprecedented merger-mania in food and agribusiness industries has been highly profitable for the industry, but has driven down the prices farmers receive, lowered wages for food workers, eliminated choices for both farmers and consumers, and fueled the environmental and public health impacts of factory farms and chemical agriculture. Ag mega-mergers also hit people in the pocketbook: Since 2008, real consumer food prices have risen about three times faster than typical wages.
“Congress passing this legislation would send a strong signal that it puts people over ag industry profits.
“Food & Water Watch is proud to endorse the Rep. Pocan’s merger moratorium bill and its Senate counterpart, which revives Senator Paul Wellstone’s progressive vision for a fairer food and farm landscape, and we urge other Members of Congress to co-sponsor this legislation.”
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.
Contact: Darcey Rakestraw, 202-683-2467; [email protected]