Much of the industry is controlled by just a few companies
Big Food wields a lot of power as a whole, but the companies within the sectors are even more influential.
"According to one traditional yardstick, an industry is deemed excessively concentrated when the top four companies in it control more than 40 percent of the market. In the case of food and agriculture, that percentage is exceeded in beef slaughter (82 percent of steers and heifers), chicken processing (53 percent), corn and soy processing (roughly 85 percent), pesticides (62 percent) and seeds (58 percent)."
With great power come great lobbyists
Because there are such powerful companies at the helm of each sector of the food industry, it's no surprise they have strong lobbyists advocating on their behalf.
"Each industry sector is represented in Washington by one or more powerful lobbying organizations. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (G.M.A.) represents the household brand names... The North American Meat Institute represents Big Meat, working alongside each animal's dedicated trade association (the National Pork Producers Council, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the National Chicken Council). The American Farm Bureau Federation ostensibly speaks for the growers of the commodity crops. The National Restaurant Association is the voice of the fast-food chains. The euphemistically named CropLife America speaks for the pesticide industry."