Herrell Requests Oversight of Meatpacking Industry
Commentary: Following last week's bipartisan, bicameral letter to the Department of Justice requesting an investigation of potential antitrust violations, Congresswoman Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.) today requested the House Oversight and Reform Committee hold a hearing on the lack of competition within the beef processing industry and its threat to our nation’s food supply.
"Concentrated control of the beef industry presents a risk to America’s food supply," Herrell wrote to Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.). "The potential complications and threats have been recently highlighted by the cyber-attack on JBS SA, which is one of four major meatpacking companies that together control 80 percent of the beef processing market."
In addition to the risk of supply disruptions exposed by the attack on JBS SA's computer systems, Herrell said the meatpacking industry's concentrated market share negatively affects both ranchers and consumers.
"In the last few years, the price of cattle has dropped dramatically," Herrell wrote. "However, the price of boxed beef at the grocery store has slightly increased. This affects both ranchers and consumers. Independent cattle ranchers are going broke, and consumers are paying more and bearing the cost of this consolidation."
The congresswoman's letter requesting an Oversight Committee hearing can be found HERE.
The letter Congresswoman Herrell signed requesting a DOJ investigation can be found HERE.