Cheyenne, OK – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement after reports surfaced that the U.S. Department of Justice has issued civil subpoenas to the titans of the beef-processing industry: JBS USA Holdings Inc., Tyson Foods Inc., Cargill Inc. and National Beef Packing Co.:
“The reports of the Department of Justice’s continued investigation into the meatpacking industry is encouraging news for cattle ranchers across America. The coronavirus pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of America’s food supply chain and accentuated the challenges beef producers face with a market that is controlled by the actions of a few, mostly foreign-based firms.”
Lucas continued, “The DOJ’s investigation could shed light on these unsettling competition and security problems in our supply chain, and I join my fellow cattle ranchers in thanking the Department for their checks and balances on an increasingly competitive food industry. I urge U.S. Attorney General William Barr to share the findings of the Department’s investigation with Congress as soon as possible so that policymakers can address the concerns of their investigation and restore confidence back into cattle markets.”
JBS USA Holdings, Tyson Foods, Cargill, and the National Beef Packing Co. account for roughly 73% of the beef processing capacity in the United States.
Congressman Frank Lucas last month led a bipartisan letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue urging the Secretary to provide the findings of USDA’s beef pricing investigation to Congress as soon as possible.
As a cattle rancher, Lucas continues to be supportive of USDA’s actions of launching an investigation into beef pricing margins to determine if there is any evidence of price manipulation, collusion, restrictions of competition or any other unfair practices.