Massie Warned America Weeks Ago That a Food Shortage Was Possible
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” Wednesday that drastic action is needed to secure the country’s meat supply chain and said Congress should pass his PRIME Act that would lift restrictions on mom-and-pop meat processing shops during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Before people starve, before animals get slaughtered and dumped in a ditch—before that happens, and it’s already happening—why don’t we let the little mom-and-pop butcher shops process the meat?”
Massie’s call comes after John Tyson, the CEO of Tyson Foods, took out full-page ads in the country’s top newspapers warning that the food chain is vulnerable.
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“As pork, beef and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain.”
Massie, who raises beef cattle, illustrated the point by telling Todd Starnes, the radio show host, that he is set to bring two cows to the slaughterhouse tomorrow and said there is a long waiting list.
“The slaughterhouse is backed up until August,” he said. “And the reason they’re backed up—it’s a mom-and-pop place—is because the big places are shutting down. And so even though the farmers are raising food” and there’s demand, the supply’s weakest link is the meat-packers. Massie said there are four main packing companies, which are mainly foreign-owned.
“So the farmers, even this week, are shooting hogs on their farm and just burying them,” he said. He said for those outside the farming world, that decision seems extreme, but when processing is reduced by 25 percent, it can make sense for farmers. He said he first saw the problem when he saw farmers dumping milk last month.
Paul, a small rancher from Sherwood, Ark., called the show and said he cannot afford to sell his beef. He said the large packing houses are controlling the market.
“We can’t even send them to the market to sell them because they’re shut down, so there’s no market to send them to, and if you could sell them—the last sale was so low—you couldn’t afford to sell them.”
Massie has noted missteps taken by the government throughout the coronavirus outbreak and almost relishes being considered the most hated man in Washington, D.C.
Massie questioned why July seems to be the target for many states to reopen. There will likely be no cure or vaccine by then and Massie said there will be no herd immunity.
“So I don’t know what’s changed in July from when they decided to shut us all down,” he said. He said the governor of Kentucky said that some residents could get back to work in May, as long as they wear masks.
“Well if that’s the answer, and only one percent of us have been infected, then why didn’t we do that to start with instead of killing our economy?”