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Senators Ask FTC To Open Antitrust Probe Into Meatpacking Amid COVID-19

 |  April 30, 2020

US Senators Josh Hawley and Tammy Baldwin are urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to open an antitrust investigation into the meatpacking and processing industry. 

Sen. Hawley and Baldwin sent a letter to the FTC to express their concerns and fears. In the letter, the senators argue the domination of four companies in the meatpacking and processing industry creates an anti-competitive atmosphere and undermines the stability of the United State’s meat supply.

The senators want the FTC to investigate the practices of Tyson Foods, Cargill, JBS S.A., and Smithfield Foods.

They are urging the Commission to ask probing questions about meatpacking firms’ conduct, pricing, contracting, and how their commitments to overseas interests impact the US market.

The senators believe this is an issue of national security. The letter states the four companies process 85% of all the beef in the US and three of the companies, multinational firms, control 63% of America’s pork processing.

The concern is there are few meat processing plants to handle the supply and demand in the US which puts consumers and farmers at risk.

In recent days, some pork, beef and chicken plants have been forced to close due to thousands of employees contracting COVID-19. The fear is there will be a lasting ripple effect in the food supply industry for Americans due to the plant shutdowns.

Full Content: Fox News

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