Justice Department investigating meat price increases: report
The Departments of Justice (DOJ) is investigating the meatpacking industry over allegations that it is manipulating prices, leading to increases in beef prices during the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reported.
The DOJ investigation will involve top U.S. beef processors, Tyson Foods, JBS, National Beef, and Cargill. Those companies control about 85 percent of the U.S. market.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Politico that the Agriculture Department is also investigating beef prices.
Coronavirus outbreaks have sparked closures and led to shortages at grocery stores and fast food chains. More than 11,000 cases of COVID-19 have been tied to Tyson Foods, Smithfield Foods and JBS plants and at last 63 workers have died.
Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in April to open an antitrust investigation into the meatpacking industry and its potential to cause significant disruptions in the food supply chain.