DOJ probes Dean Foods/Dairy Farmers of America proposed merger

The Department of Justice is looking into the potential antitrust implications of a proposed deal between bankrupt milk processor Dean Foods and the giant dairy cooperative Dairy Farmers of America (DFA). According to a Monday report in the Wall Street Journal, the department is investigating …

Justice Dept. intervenes in major poultry price-fixing case

The Department of Justice intervened Friday in a landmark price-fixing suit against the country’s biggest poultry companies, possibly signaling that its own grand jury investigation into the chicken sector could result in criminal indictments. The DOJ asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to stop discovery in the class-action lawsuit brought by food distributor Maplevale Farm, saying in its motion that “a limited stay is needed to protect the grand jury’s investigation.”

DoJ’s stance on California egg law could bode well for other states

In a surprising amicus brief, the Justice Department last week recommended that the Supreme Court not hear Missouri’s challenge to California’s animal-welfare laws, which mandate larger cages for some farm animals. The stance could bode well for animal-welfare advocates fighting for similar legislation in other states.

Study: Trump’s Justice Department easier on polluters than its predecessors

The Trump administration has allowed polluters to pay less than half the amount in civil penalties they were forced to pay under the three previous administrations, says a report by the Environmental Integrity Project.

Justice Dept. approves Dow–DuPont merger, with conditions

Dow Chemical and E.I. DuPont can carry out their planned $130 billion merger if they agree to sell off some of their pesticide and petrochemical business, said the Justice Department. Justice’s antitrust division said the divestitures would preserve competition in the ag chemical sector.

Green groups doubt Sessions will enforce environmental law

President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, is "one of the most outspoken critics of environmental sciences" and "a proven opponent of environmental protection," say environmental groups, who fear Sessions will go slow on enforcement of clean air and clean water laws. The Alabama Republican also is an unwavering foe of a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Justice Department asks farmers about high-speed planters

The Justice Department, which filed an anti-trust suit to prevent Deere & Co. from buying Precision Planting, recently telephoned farmers in the Midwest to ask about the market dynamics for high-speed planters, says DTN.

Senate chairman asks for antitrust review of JBS-Cargill deal

Senate Judiciary chairman Charles Grassley asked the Justice Department for an antitrust review of an agreement for JBS, the giant Brazilian meatpacker, to buy the pork operations of agribusiness rival Cargill for $1.45 billion.

Tyson must sell sow-buying unit as part of Hillshire deal

Tyson Foods, Inc. must sell its sow-buying unit, Heinold Hog Markets, to satisfy antitrust rules and proceed with its purchase of Hilllshire Brands Co. for $8.5 billion, the Justice Department said.