Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed is requesting that the Federal Trade Commission investigate potential price-gouging linked to the increase in egg prices.
“Consumers are used to seeing some volatility in the egg pricing market, but the current price spike in the industry’s favor warrants careful scrutiny. Independent federal watchdogs should look at the facts and follow the evidence to ensure consumers are treated fairly,” said Senator Reed.
Reed’s letter notes: “Many in the egg industry have pointed to last year’s avian flu outbreak as the reason behind these substantial price increases. However, as early as May 2022 the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service found that “the price increase” observed in the egg sector was “much larger than the decreases in production” caused by the avian flu. Indeed, while prices are up 138%, the American Egg Board recently reported that U.S. egg producer flocks are only 6% below normal levels. USDA also observed little effort among the largest egg producers to increase production to moderate record prices. It is also worth noting that small producers, which have faced many of the same market challenges as the biggest producers, have managed to keep prices under control.”
The industry has blamed last year's avian flu outbreak, but Reed points to Department of Agriculture research which indicates the price hikes have been much larger in scale than the decreases in production.
There has been no response from the FTC yet.
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