February 20, 1943

Black Market Diverting Supply
CHICAGO, Ill.—A report yesterday by the American Meat Institute claims a black market is thriving in the West and Midwest that threatens the supply of meat to the Government and large population centers. The Office of Price Administration (OPA) plans both criminal and civil actions against anyone engaging in black marketeering and is proposing a licensing system to combat black market meat. Citing examples from Louisiana, Georgia, Minnesota, and New England, the Institute claims in these areas plants are processing half the number or fewer as normal of hogs and cattle. In a specific example from New England, one plant’s output has fallen from fifteen hundred to two thousand head of cattle a week to ten per cent of that average. At the same time, the Institute states “…an unlimited supply of fresh meat may be found in many country and small-town markets in the Midwest…” and locker plants in Illinois and Texas are processing four times the numbers as last year.

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