Biden Urges Hearings in Congress on Meat Industry Consolidation
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden, as part of his push to ease the pain of inflation, called on Congress to examine whether meat processors like Tyson Foods Inc. are engaging in anti-competitive behavior.
“I’m urging the Congress to hold hearings as to the concentration of power in a few hands controlling the food processing side of the equation,” Biden said in an interview Tuesday with WHIO-TV of Dayton, Ohio.
Biden said processors like Tyson posted higher profit margins than in past years, and said operators are able to raise prices because they’ve bought out smaller producers. Tyson has rejected the conclusion that meat prices have been driven higher by consolidation, arguing there’s been increased demand during the pandemic.
November’s consumer price index -- which recorded the biggest inflation jump since 1982 -- showed meat prices were the single largest contributor to rising food costs.
Earlier this month, the Department of Agriculture announced a new $100 million loan guarantee program for small meat processors and distributors. The administration has also asked Congress to pass legislation increasing transparency in cattle markets.
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