MI, Feds to Investigate Possible Food Price Gouging
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Attorneys general from more than 30 states, including Michigan, just announced a bipartisan effort to bring down costs and create more choices at the supermarket.
State law enforcement agencies are pledging to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's new Agricultural Competition Partnership to investigate price gouging in the food industry.
Teresa Murray, consumer watchdog with the Public Interest Research Group, said while recent inflation spikes have been a factor, it is worth taking a closer look.
"We very much believe in a free market," Murray stated. "But not when it comes to crossing the line of trying to take advantage of individuals and families who are just trying to feed their kids."
Beyond price structures, the USDA noted states will also be on the lookout for conflicts of interest, misuse of intellectual property, and anticompetitive barriers across the food and agriculture supply chains. Business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce oppose the move, calling it an "overreach."
Murray pointed out while there have been rumblings about these issues, it is hard to go into a grocery store, observe higher prices, and know for sure whether corporate greed is at play.
"What are the manufacturing costs? What are the labor costs, which probably have gone up? What are the supply-chain costs? What are the distribution costs?" Murray outlined. "And then where, at the end, is there a profit, and is anybody along the way taking advantage of the situation?"
Murray added there is no real federal statute addressing price gouging, so state enforcement will be important. Michigan law makes it a crime to price gouge during an emergency, but not all states have similar protections.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
The Alabama House and Senate both passed bills this week that would help people resume in vitro fertilization and provide legal protections for provid…
It's early in the season for wildfires in Nebraska, but dozens of firefighters have already been battling a large wildfire near North Platte for …
A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…
By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Joyce Foundation-Public News Ser…
By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …
A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding. As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in …
As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …
A bill in Olympia would open access to unemployment while workers are on strike, but time is running out for lawmakers to pass the legislation…