WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Mike Rounds on Thursday presented a bipartisan resolution calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate possible pricing of beef companies.
Politicians’ latest attempt to hold meat companies responsible for high food prices has been criticized by critics for the U.S. beef production controlled by only four major companies.
The senators called for a 1914 law that would allow the president or Congress to direct the FTC to investigate alleged breaches of the no-confidence motion. The rule has not been used since 1920.
According to the latest data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), in 2018, four companies slaughtered about 85% of the US grain-fattened cattle made of steak, roast beef and other pieces of meat for consumers.
The four major processors are: Cargill, Tyson Foods Inc, Brazil-based JBS SA, and National Beef Packing Co.
The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment but have previously refused to raise merger prices.
The judiciary is already conducting pricing investigations into the poultry processing industry.
Angela Hoffman, co-founder and vice-president of the policy and advocacy group Firm Action, which supported the resolution, said every possible tool should be used to stop the monopoly abuse of Congress.
“We are thrilled that a bipartisan team is going back in history and dusting off this tool. The downside is that this is a long way to go. “