Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is calling on the U.S. Departments of Justice and Agriculture to investigate potential market manipulation and other illegal activity by meatpackers in the cattle industry.
Grassley, a longtime advocate for agriculture in the Senate, says, “With the shelf prices of meat at record highs and the high rate of concentration in the meatpacking industry, there are concerns that the difference in these margins is the result of illegal practices.”
Grassley sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.
In the letter, he cites repeated and numerous concerns raised by farmers and ranchers about possible illegal practices due to consolidation in the meatpacking industry.
The senator is asking for both departments to investigate the serious allegations.
“I request that you examine the current structure of the beef meatpacking industry and investigate potential market and price manipulation, collusion, and restrictions on competition, as well as any other potential unfair and deceptive practices under U.S. antitrust laws and the Packers and Stockyards Act,” he says in the letter.