Thursday, February 10, 2011

Senate Judiciary Committee?

Leahy, Grassley press DOJ, USDA for follow up to agriculture competition workshops

By Press Release on February 9, 2011

February 9, 2011

Erica Chabot (w/Leahy)

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter Wednesday to Attorney General Eric Holder and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, seeking follow up on a recent series of competition workshops held by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The conferences, which were held in locations across the country from March 2010 to December 2010, focused on vertical integration, buyer power, market transparency, competition and retail pricing in several agricultural industries, including dairy, seed and poultry. In 2009, Leahy chaired a Judiciary Committee field hearing in Vermont about competition in the dairy industry, one of several hearings held by the Committee in recent years to examine antitrust issues in the agriculture sector. Now Leahy and Grassley are seeking information about DOJ and USDA plans for further action to promote competition in agriculture.

“With the conclusion of the last workshop on December 8, 2010, we would appreciate an update as to what the DOJ and USDA plans for its next steps,” the Senators wrote. “As Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Judiciary, please provide to us an outline of any plans or further action items that DOJ and USDA intend to take in this area.”

The full text of the letter follows. A PDF is available online.

So, here is the link to the subcommitte on antitrust:

Jurisdiction: (1) Oversight of antitrust law and competition policy, including the Sherman, Clayton and Federal Trade Commission Acts; (2) Oversight of antitrust enforcement and competition policy at the Justice Department; (3) Oversight of antitrust enforcement and competition policy at the Federal Trade Commission; (4) Oversight of competition policy at other federal agencies.

The only question is where does the buck stop, if indeed, there is a buck left?

Oh yes, Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont, is the Senate Judiciary Chairman

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