WASHINGTON – After falling short in a battle to restructure marketing agreements between livestock producers and meat companies late last year, J. Dudley Butler, administrator of the United States Department of Agriculture's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, is expected to step down later this month, according to two sources in an Associated Press report.
Butler was appointed by President Obama in 2009, and attempted to rally support to implement antitrust reform that posed to threaten the profitability of some of the largest meat-processing companies in the US. The proposed rule was thwarted when funding for the regulations was voted down by Congress. As a result, the USDA’s only move was to require meat companies to allow producers to opt out of any arbitration clauses in their contracts with the firms.
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