immediate release -- October 26, 2000.
Contact Bob Brammer, 515-281-6699
of Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller on the
Federal Agricultural Producer Protection Act
"I commend Iowa
Senator Tom Harkin for drafting and introducing the Agricultural Producer
Protection Act. This is a very significant piece of federal legislation
for two reasons:
Harkin's bill is similar to model state legislation that I and fifteen
other state attorneys general unveiled about a month ago concerning agricultural
contracting. Our model state legislation and this bill have the same goal
-- to give farmers greater economic protection in this era of rapid horizontal
and vertical consolidation in agriculture. Senator Harkin and I share
the view that the vast disparity in bargaining power and market information
between agribusinesses and individual producers threatens healthy competition
in agriculture to the detriment of both farmers and consumers.
federal legislation like the Harkin bill would be very beneficial for
Iowa and the nation.
Harkin's bill makes clear that states are not preempted in this arena.
The bill ensures that states can go further than the federal government,
if they choose, to address the particular needs of producers and others
connected to agriculture in their respective states (with the caveat that
states cannot permit an action prohibited by the federal law). Senator
Harkin's position on the preemption issue is wise, since states have great
differences when it comes to agriculture and undoubtedly will arrive at
various solutions to the problem. Moreover, the position is appreciated
because proposals by others in Congress on this topic would take half
steps to protect producers and then prohibit states from doing more. We
would strongly object to federal legislation that was not effective and
"We will continue
to pursue our model state legislation, and we look forward to working
with Senator Harkin, the rest of the Iowa delegation, and others on worthwhile
federal efforts like the one offered today by Senator Harkin."
For more information,
contact Eric Tabor: 515-281-5191.
Attorney General Home | News Release Home