A food industry critic says corporate mergers and acquisitions continue to limit consumer choice.
Wenonah Hauter heads the consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch. She's written a book called Foodopoly, which argues food industry consolidation is limiting consumers' options at the supermarket. Hauter spoke this week in Madison and Milwaukee. She says the beer industry is dominated by SAB-Miller and AnheuserBusch-Inbev, which put the squeeze on micro-breweries in Wisconsin and elsewhere.
"These large foreign-owned brewery companies don't really want micro-breweries to become more popular, and they're very concerned about this market share, even though it's just 6 percent."
Hauter says the meat processing and dairy industries are also consolidating. She says Congress needs to study the effect of the various mergers on family farmers and consumers, but she's worried about the clout big food companies have on Capitol Hill. Large firms generally argue that mergers and acquisitions have worked to create economies of scale and allowed discounts to consumers.