Appeals Court Overturns Pro-Farmer Decision in Packers & Stockyard Act Case

Appeals Court Overturns Decision in Wheeler Packers & Stockyards Act Case: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion on Tuesday, December 15 which overturned a lower court decision in Wheeler v. Pilgrim's Pride, Inc. that favored farmers.  The case involved farmers contracted to grow chickens for Pilgrim's Pride who claimed that the company provided undue preferences to certain growers.  The lower court ruled that farmers bringing a claim of undue preferences and unfair and deceptive practices under Section 202 of the Packers & Stockyards Act did not need to prove that the specific unfair practice at issue had an adverse effect on competition.  The Fifth Circuit overruled the lower court concluding that farmers must prove a lessening of competition, even if there is clear evidence that a defendant had exercised undue preferences or undertaken unfair and deceptive practices in the company's dealings with farmers. Story from National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

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