Iowa Investigates Possible Food Price Gouging

Iowa is part of a bipartisan effort around the nation to strengthen enforcement and prevent anti-trust activity within the nation’s food system, a move that could bolster the state’s existing price-gouging law.

31 attorneys general, including Iowa’s Brenna Bird, are working with the U-S-D-A to ultimately bring down food costs and create more choices at the supermarket. While recent inflation spikes have been a factor, officials say price gouging is a possibility, too. Teresa Murray, with the Public Interest Research Group, says it’s worth taking a closer look….

Beyond price structures, the U-S-D-A says states will also be watching for conflicts of interest, misuse of intellectual property and anti-competitive practices across the food and agriculture supply chains. Business groups such as the U-S Chamber of Commerce oppose the move, calling it an “overreach.” Iowa has a law designed to protect consumers from price-gouging, but Bird supports the national investigation, too.

Murray says while there have been rumblings about these issues, it’s hard to go into a grocery store, see higher prices, and know for sure whether corporate greed is at play…

Murray says the combined efforts of 31 states speak volumes about the desire to protect consumers. She adds there is currently no federal statute addressing price gouging, so Iowa’s law is important, and will add additional consumer protections if a federal law is passed.

(credit to Iowa News Service)


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