Agriculture Workshop Comment Number: AGW-13212

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Comment Number: AGW-13212

From: Steve Branch
Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2009 1:15 PM
To: ATR-Agricultural Workshops
Subject: Comments Regarding Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement Issues in Our 21st Century Economy


My name is Steve Branch and I am a citizen who is concerned about the state of agriculture in the United States.  In particular, I am worried about the consolidation of corporate power in the food and agriculture sector.

First, I am concerned about my family's safety.  There have been many recent incidents of  food poisoning (E. coli, etc.) that result much faster when meat and vegetables are processed in big centralized locations.  Agricultural conglomerates also promote the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides over organic farming, although evidence shows that organic food is healthier to consume.

Second, I am worried about the environmental impact of large industrial farms, which produce more chemical and waste pollution than smaller farms.

Third, small farmers struggle to compete against large industrial farms and consolidated buyers.  The U.S. government has a long history of promoting equity in the marketplace by restricting the development of large monopolies - the break up of Bell Telephone is but one example.  I strongly believe that similar measures should be adopted in the food and agriculture sector to create a level playing field and allow small farmers to compete against conglomerates.    

Thank you for considering my comments. 

Steven Branch

88 Edgehill Rd

Providence RI 02906

Updated April 7, 2016

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