Beef butchers of the world under scrutiny from South Dakota's political leaders

All three members of the state's federal delegation have authored or signed letters in the last month to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, calling for attention to potential price-fixing schemes by the quartet of major companies processing meat.


By Christopher Vondracek, The Globe (MN)

Jun. 3, 2021


YANKTON, S.D. The hog-and-cattle butchers of the world have drawn the ire of South Dakota's ranchers (and politicians).


Over the last few weeks, the state's top leaders from Pierre to Washington are drawing increasing attention on irregularities in the meat industry, focusing on alleged anti-competitive practices of the four companies that own America's meatpacking facilities.


On Tuesday, June 1, U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, along with Minnesota's junior Sen. Tina Smith, authored a letter signed by more than two dozen colleagues to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting a federal investigation into the "stranglehold" large meatpackers have placed on the market.


"For far too long, independent cattle producers have been forced out of the business while meatpackers continue to profit at the expense of the American consumer," said Rounds, in a statement.


Sen. John Thune has called for a senate inquiry into "possible improper and anti-competitive activity in the cattle market," and Rep. Dusty Johnson has signed a separate letter along with Thune calling on Garland to update Congress on DOJ's investigations in anti-competitive practices and their impacts on cattle producers...


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