US – A new class-action lawsuit has alleged big poultry companies, including Tyson and Perdue Farms among others, were engaged in a scheme to fix prices by killing flocks and destroying eggs to limit production.
The law company involved, Hagens Berman, says the scheme raised the price of 98 per cent of the chicken sold in the US by nearly 50 per cent.
The lawsuit was filed on 14 September in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Consumers may be entitled to compensation from a large number of different chicken companies, if the lawsuit is successful.
“For years, these major food corporations sought to take full control of the market to squeeze every penny they could from hard working consumers, and they broke federal laws and killed thousands of chickens to do so,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman.
“Instead of honest competition, these agribusinesses chose to cheat the system, killing off flocks and destroying eggs to limit the amount of production and pass the buck to millions of Americans.”
According to the lawsuit, unlike previous production cuts, in 2008 the defendant chicken producers did not rely solely on ordinary mechanisms to temporarily reduce production, which would have permitted production to be quickly ramped up if prices rose.
“Instead, Defendant Producers cut their ability to ramp up production for 18 months or more by destroying Broiler breeder hens in their broiler breeder flocks responsible for supplying the eggs Defendant Producers raise into broilers. This destruction of the broiler breeder flock was unparalleled,” the lawsuit states.ThePoultrySite News Desk