The Capper-Volstead Act does not protect United Potato Growers of America from charges it illegally reduced the supply of potatoes in order to raise prices.
In a Dec. 2 ruling, U.S. District Court of Idaho judge Lynn Winmill rejected Salt Lake City-based United Potato’s motion to dismiss a suit brought against it by Jamestown, N.Y.-based Brigiotta’s Farmland Produce and Garden Center Inc.
The court did, however, dismiss charges against several individual grower-shippers who were co-defendants in the case.
In its motion for dismissal, United Potato argued that its practice of limiting U.S. potato acreage in order to strengthen markets is protected under the Capper-Volstead Act, which provides agricultural cooperatives limited exemption from federal antitrust laws.
Winmill ruled United Potato had no basis to make that claim.
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