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Unformatted text preview: he belief that agribusiness executives secretly talk on the phone with their
competitors, set prices, and divide up the worldwide market for commodities — a belief widely held among independent ranchers and
farmers — may seem like a paranoid fantasy. But that is precisely what executives at Archer Daniels Midland, “supermarket to the world,”
did for years.
Three of Archer Daniels Midland’s top officials, including Michael Andreas, its vice chairman, were sent to federal prison in 1999 for
conspiring with foreign rivals to control the international market for lysine (an important feed additive). The Justice Department’s
investigation of this massive price-fixing scheme focused on the period between August of 1992 and December of 1995. Within that roughly
three-and-a-half-year stretch, Archer Daniels Midland and its coconspirators may have overcharged farmers by as much as $180 million.
During the same period, Archer Daniels Midland executives also met with their overseas rivals to set the worldwide price f...
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- Spring '08