GOP Rep Massie Warns U.S. May Be 'Weeks Away' From Food Shortages

Chris Menahan
Apr. 13, 2020

America could face food shortages despite farmers having plenty of supplies because multiple huge food processing facilities have been shutdown due to the coronavirus and regulations prevent smaller players from stepping in to fill the gaps.

From The Gateway Pundit, "GOP Rep. Massie Warns US is 'Weeks Away, Not Months,' From Food Shortages":
Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie is warning that the United States could be just weeks away from major food shortages due to the coronavirus shutdown.

He warned that livestock could end up being euthanized and fruits and vegetables will be left to rot in the fields if a drastic change isn’t made.

"We are weeks, not months, away from farmers euthanizing animals that would have been sold for meat/food. Also, fruits and vegetables are going to rot in the fields. A drastic change in policy this week could ameliorate this inevitability," Massie tweeted Monday, along with a link to a radio show he appeared on to discuss the issue.

During the interview, Massie raised concerns about the fact that while there is livestock, farms have no where to send them because meat processing plants have shut down because of the virus.

"You have people running the government that have no clue about how the economy works and how their food gets to the table," Massie said.

"The shocking thing is that farmers are watching the value of their hogs and steers, cows, go down. In fact, they’re going to some of the lowest levels ever," he added. "So the question is: Why is the price of meat going up in the supermarkets and the price of cattle going down at the auction ring? It’s because our supply line is brittle. You have to take cattle, steer, beef, whatever, hogs, to a processing plant. And these processing plants, like much of industrial America right now, are shutting down because of absentees, which has been exacerbated by the unemployment program the federal government has instituted — plus the $1,200 checks that are about to hit, plus some of the regulations that the states have put in place."

Massie explained that six of the largest processing plants are shut down.

"I'm afraid you’re going to see ... cattle and hogs being euthanized or incinerated and buried while we have shortages at the supermarket. And you talk about civil unrest when you start seeing that. And it’s all because of the brittle food supply chain," he said.
Massie urged congress to pass his PRIME Act to allow smaller meat producers to pack and sell their own meat subject to local, rather than federal regulations:

As Massie noted, video was shared last week showing Wisconsin dairy farmers being forced to dump thousands of gallons of milk (while being reimbursed by the Dairy Farmers of America) because of collapsing milk prices:

Besides regulations, a big issue is that suppliers are extremely hesitant to expand production because they know as soon as the panic buying subsides they're likely to be stuck with a glut of product and few buyers.

The New York Times reported Monday that though the US has plenty of food there could be shortages of pork and other products due to struggling supply chains.

Smithfield president and CEO Kenneth Sullivan said in a statement on Sunday that the closure of their South Dakota pork processing facility and other major plants "is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply."

"It is impossible to keep our grocery stores stocked if our plants are not running," Sullivan said. "These facility closures will also have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions for many in the supply chain, first and foremost our nation's livestock farmers. ... We have a stark choice as a nation: we are either going to produce food or not, even in the face of COVID-19."

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