Department of Justice Intervenes in Poultry Price-Fixing Suit
The Department of Justice has reportedly opened a criminal investigation into claims over whether companies including Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Sanderson Farms conspired to fix poultry prices.
The probe was disclosed in a civil court filing in Chicago, where lawsuits against more than 12 companies in the poultry industry are pending. The civil lawsuits allege the poultry processors conspired to raise prices on broiler chickens by reducing the supply and then manipulated prices on a weekly benchmark compiled by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
This is not the first time poultry prices have come under scrutiny.
In 2016, the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture suspended the Georgia Dock after reports cast doubt on the validity of the price index, and the US Dept. of Agriculture stopped including the index in its market news reports.
And for years, industry rumblings have suggested price-fixing issues with frozen turkeys throughout the winter holiday season.
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