Cattle industry pushes DOJ for insight into meat packer investigation as silence continues

The cattle industry is growing impatient as it awaits answers from the Department of Justice investigation into the nation’s four largest meat packers.

Ethan Lane with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the agency, which is looking into potential antitrust violations, doesn’t usually update stakeholders on investigations, but producers are facing unique circumstances. “So much focus in the industry right now is surrounding these set of issues and because of that there is a real need to know what we’re looking at and so I think producers are saying “look I don’t care about how you normally do it.  This effects my business and I need to know what’s going on.”

But Lane tells Brownfield, “I know there are some conversations ongoing on Capitol Hill about the potential for a close door briefing or something with DOJ where they could possibly meet with key members on the hill and give them a look at where they’re at and let them know what’s happening with that.”

In an interview with Brownfield, Governor Pete Ricketts said the investigation has been going on for more than a year and producers deserve answers. “Folks deserve to know what the update or the status is so we want to know what the DOJ is finding or where they are with this investigation so that we can have an idea what we can expect. We’ve been concerned about where this industry has been going.”

Ricketts and governors of six other states recently signed a letter pushing the DOJ for answers.

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