South Dakota Attorney General joins group urging investigation into meat packing industry

Photo courtesy USDA/MGN.  Generic shot of cattle being cattle.
Photo courtesy USDA/MGN. Generic shot of cattle being cattle.(KKTV)
Published: May. 5, 2020 at 2:24 PM CDT
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Attorneys General from South Dakota and ten other states are pushing for a federal investigation into suspected national price fixing by the meat packing industry.

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg announced Tuesday he has signed onto a letter to U.S. Atty. Gen. William Barr, expressing concern over possible manipulation of the market for processed beef.

The letter states the four largest meat packing companies control more than 80 percent of the beef processing in the United States. The shelf price of beef has risen recently, despite cattle prices dropping. This situation has only been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Attorneys General believe the pricing margins are a sign that meat packers are using their ability to control the market for processed beef, and take advantage of the situation in a manner that could violate federal antitrust laws.

Other states to sign on the letter include North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Missouri, Idaho, and Arizona.