The United States Department of Agriculture is launching an investigation into beef packers because there have been allegations of market manipulation.
The investigation relates to the aftermath of a fire in Kansas that wiped out a large Tyson-owned packing plant that was slaughtering five per cent of market cattle.
In the wake of the fire, prices rose, then fell as packers managed to redistribute cattle to plants that added overtime and weekend shifts.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a news release. “If any unfair practices are detected, we will take quick enforcement action."
He has met with plant managers and many others in the industry to gain an understanding of what happened in markets after the fire.
There were already a number of lawsuits in process before the fire, alleging market manipulation to influence cattle and beef prices.