Iowa attorney general joins call for federal price fixing investigation of beef processors

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By Tyler Jett | 5 May 2020

DES MOINES REGISTER — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller joined other state attorneys general in calling Tuesday for a federal investigation into suspected price fixing among beef processors.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Miller and the top prosecutors from nine other states asked the U.S. Department of Justice to look into whether the country’s biggest beef processors are colluding against cattle ranchers and consumers. The attorneys general said the price of boxed beef remains “healthy” even as cattle futures have dropped.

Cargill, JBS USA, National Beef and Tyson Foods account for about 80% of beef processing in the United States.

“Given the concentrated market structure of the beef industry it may be particularly susceptible to market manipulation, particularly during times of food insecurity, such as the current COVID-19 crisis,” the attorneys general wrote.

Miller’s counterparts from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming also signed the letter. […]

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