Grassley pressures USDA for report on Holcomb fire
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is putting pressure on the USDA to release the findings of its investigation into beef pricing margins following the Holcomb, Kansas packing plant fire last summer.
Grassley has sent a letter to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue saying if the report is not issued by August 9th, he will ask the GAO to investigate the reporting processes of USDA’s Packer and Stockyards Division “to see if additional authority or resources are needed to properly conduct oversight of processing facilities”.
“The bottom line for me is—is the marketplace working or not,” Grassley says. “That means that there better not be any collusion between these companies—but within a company, there better not be any indication of the marketplace not working.”
Grassley has also called on USDA and the Department of Justice to investigate potential market manipulation by meatpackers during the COVID-19 pandemic. DOJ recently announced that it had issued civil investigative demands to the nation’s four largest meatpackers.
Grassley made his comments in his weekly conference call with ag reporters.
AUDIO: Excerpt from Grassley’s conference call with ag reporters