It’s been nearly three weeks since the devastating fire that damaged the Tyson Beef Plant in Holcomb, and now the US Department of Agriculture is taking a look at whether others in the beef market have improperly been taking advantage of the disaster.

In a statement released yesterday afternoon, United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said:

“As part of our continued efforts to monitor the impact of the fire at the beef processing facility in Holcomb, Kan., I have directed USDA’s Packers and Stockyards Division to launch an investigation into recent beef pricing margins to determine if there is any evidence of price manipulation, collusion, restrictions of competition or other unfair practices. If any unfair practices are detected, we will take quick enforcement action. USDA remains in close communication with plant management and other stakeholders to understand the fire’s impact to industry.
I have spent this summer visiting with cattle ranchers across the country, and I know this is a difficult time for the industry as a whole. USDA is committed to ensuring support is available to ranchers who work hard to the feed the United States and the world.”

The Holcomb facility remains closed indefinitely with Tyson maintaining its intent to rebuild.