R-Calf, which gave Canada’s beef industry fits with its push for tariffs, is accusing Cargill of taking advantage of a temporary lack of competition in Pennsylvania.
The organization says Cargill reduced its bids for cattle while the local JBS-owned plant was temporarily closed last fall.
It made its case to the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, claiming Cargill violated anti-trust regulations.
Cargill answered that it believes it is in compliance with all legislation and regulations.
Cargill operates a beef plant in Wyalusing, Pa. Cargill and JBS are the only two major cow and fed cattle buyers in the Northeast, the groups say.
The JBS plant at Souderton closed Oct. 25 to deal with pest problems and re-opened Nov 15.
“Cargill likely enjoyed windfall profits at the expense of both regional cattle producers and regional consumers because wholesale meat prices were increasing as cattle prices were decreasing,” the complaint filed by R-Calf and Buckeye Quality Beef Association says.
Cargill Director of Communications Mike Martin said: "We conduct our business in compliance with all competition laws and believe it is important to do so for fair and honest competition in the marketplace."