Coronavirus meat shortage needs to be investigated by DOJ, state attorneys general say
Grocery chains rationing meat products as coronavirus precaution
Grocery stores are rationing meat products to customers due to processing challenges caused by coronavirus. FOX Business’ Grady Trimble with more.
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Eleven attorneys general from western and midwestern states requested a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into accusations of anticompetitive practices by meatpacking companies.
"The U.S. beef processing market is highly concentrated, with the four largest beef processors controlling 80 percent of U.S. beef processing," the attorneys general wrote in a joint letter. "In short, with such high concentration and the threat of increasing consolidation, we have concerns that beef processors are well positioned to coordinate their behavior and create a bottleneck in the cattle industry — to the detriment of ranchers and consumers alike.
MEATPACKING COMPANIES' CORONAVIRUS-LED PRICE HIKE CAUSES 'BEEF' WITH CATTLE RANCHERS
Their request comes after the National Cattlemen's Beef Association began pressuring the federal government in April. The group alleged that the big four packing companies, Cargill, National Beef, Tyson Foods and JBS, were driving down the price of cattle and raising the price of packaged beef amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The attorneys general said they may take action in their own states, too.