Beef Lobby Rift: JBS leaves NCBA

JBS, the world’s largest meat packer, has left the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in a surprise move that comes as the group began taking a harder line on concerns about market consolidation.

NCBA, the beef industry’s main lobbying operation in Washington, D.C., recently joined with an unusually broad range of farm and cattle producer groups to call for more transparency in the market and ask the Department of Justice to publicly report on its ongoing antitrust investigation. Sixteen members of Congress also wrote to DOJ this week seeking an update on the probe.

The moves stem from widespread anger among producers who say they are being squeezed with unfairly low cattle prices while consumers are paying near-record prices for burgers and steaks.

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