Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren is calling for an investigation into the rapid increase in turkey prices as Americans face sticker shock at the grocery store.
In a letter sent to Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division Jonathan Kanter this week, Warren is asking the Department of Justice to investigate the poultry industry. She's blaming a rise in prices on "corporate greed," rather than on President Joe Biden's inflationary policies.
"The price of turkey has increased by 24% over the past year, far outpacing other Thanksgiving foods, while poultry prices soared to all-time highs this year. Poultry is one of the most heavily concentrated industries with the dominant 'Big Four' poultry companies — JBS Foods, Tyson, Perdue, and Sanderson — holding a combined 54% of the market," Warren's office released in a statement. "In her letter, Senator Warren called out big poultry companies’ corporate greed and urged the DOJ to investigate schemes to eliminate small competitors while raising prices for consumers, cutting pay for American farmers, and reporting massive profits."
Americans are paying record high prices for their Thanksgiving turkey while big poultry companies are paying billions in dividends, giving CEOs raises & earning huge profits. These companies are abusing their market power. I’m asking DOJ to investigate.https://t.co/G70KyaUd1Q— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) November 23, 2021
Meanwhile, the White House is claiming turkeys really aren't that expensive, especially for a "big" bird.
"I don't know if you've cooked a turkey before, but a 20-pound turkey is a pretty big turkey. I think we can all agree. They're about one dollar more. So, not to minimize that -- any increase in prices is something the President is concerned about, as is evidenced by his announcement today and as his efforts to push forward on additional relief for the American people," Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday. "But I just want to be clear that there are abundance of turkeys available. They're about one dollar more for a 20-pound bird, which is a huge bird if you're feeding a very big family. And that's something that, again, we've been working to make sure people have more money in their pockets to address it as the economy is turning back on."
Doocy: "What message does it send to the middle-class Americans President Biden says that he's trying to help who are struggling this wk to cover the cost of the most expensive Thanksgiving ever that [he] is going to take a few days off at a billionaire's compound in Nantucket?" pic.twitter.com/HEHujl2Do5— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) November 23, 2021
Turkey farmers are explaining the real reasons for an increase in prices.
Inflation, worker shortages and supply chain problems are causing an increase in turkey prices, a turkey-farming couple told Fox News.
"You name it, equipment, fuel, labor, everything," Kyle Scott, who co-owns Old Glory Farm in Wisconsin with his wife, Deanna, told Fox News. "There's just inflation. Everywhere we look, every direction we turn, everything seems to be more expensive."
Deanna Scott said: "The price of the poults has gone up. The price of the feed has gone up, the price of shipping has gone up, the price of labor has gone up. And unfortunately, to be turning any kind of profit, the price of the turkey has to go up."
The price of Thanksgiving foods, such as turkey, russet potatoes, sweet potatoes and other staples, has risen 5% compared to last year, according to the Department of Agriculture. It also reported that 8- to 16-pound frozen turkeys increased in price by 27% from a year ago.