Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced [May 7] that she would be co-sponsoring Sen. Cory Booker’s bill to phase out large-scale factory farming by 2040.
The Farm System Reform Act would prohibit new large factory farms from going into business and force others to cease expansions before halting operations entirely within two decades. Warren’s support for the law comes after multiple reports of unsafe conditions in the meatpacking industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Rep. Ro Khanna is also co-sponsoring the effort and has introduced companion legislation to the House.
“For years, regulators looked the other way while giant multinational corporations crushed competition in the agriculture sector and seized control over key markets,” Warren said in a statement. “The COVID-19 crisis will make it easier for Big Ag to get even bigger, gobble up smaller farms, and lead to fewer choices for consumers.”
While Booker’s legislation may seem timely due to the impact the pandemic is having on the meat industry, it was originally proposed by the senator in December 2019. The bill was intended to support smaller farms by countering the influence of large, monopolistic corporations that had “run roughshod over the marketplace,” according to Booker.