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Beef – It’s What’s for… Testimony?

The English language is a beautiful thing.

You can use a word like grill and mean two different things.

Take the sentence, “A U.S. Senate panel grilled big meat last week.” You might picture your senator at one of those fancy D.C. cookouts. But what actually happened is executives from two of the four major U.S. meatpackers were grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee. You can imagine how precise their word choices were too.

Over the coals: JBS and Tyson were on the hot grates as the committee pressed for answers on how the companies participate in the live cattle market. Questions and testimony focused on two areas: why the spread from live cattle to boxed beef is so big and how much control the major meatpackers have over the entire marketplace.

Some might say a Senate committee hearing might do little more than create headlines. But it’s worth noting there is support from both sides of the aisle for more competition in the cattle industry.

Where this goes: Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa introduced a bill earlier this year focused on increasing the amount of beef bought on the open market, and support for it seems to be building.