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Weiland: Tyson, Hillshire Merger Bad for SD

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Beresford, SD (KELO AM) - Sioux Falls small businessman and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Rick Weiland, today called on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to block Tyson Foods’ proposed acquisition of Hillshire Brands.  Earlier this year, Tyson Foods submitted an offer to acquire Hillshire Brands, which produces a number of pork products, that includes brands like Jimmy Dean’s breakfast sausages and Ball Park Hot Dogs.  The proposed acquisition has required an antitrust review by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.

“Where do we draw the line when it comes to protecting our Ag Producers and our Consumers? South Dakotans need someone representing them in the Senate who will stand up to the power of Big Money in the Agriculture Industry and say enough is enough,” said Weiland. 

"This merger defies common sense and will hurt not just family farmers and ranchers but also consumers by giving Tyson-Hillshire even more control over prices and reducing the number of livestock buyers. Small-scale livestock producers can expect Tyson-Hilshire to squeeze their profit margins even further so that Big Meat can maximize their profits," Weiland added.

“We need someone who will continue Tim Johnson’s fight to expand competition in the marketplace.  I challenge Mike Rounds to join me in calling on the Justice Department to block this merger, which will only stifle competition, hurt South Dakota farmers and ranchers, and cause consumers to pay more at the meat counter,” Weiland said.

Tyson Foods is the largest meat company in the U.S., and the pending merger would concentrate more power in the pork industry in just one firm.  Weiland’s call to block this proposed merger is one component of his efforts to ensure Big Money gets out of the way of good policy.

Today Weiland will visit 6 more South Dakota towns: Canistota, Marion, Centerville, Beresford, Elk Point, and Vermillion. He has now made more than 470 town visits and held more than 200 public meetings.

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