Lawsuit Alleges Top Cattle Companies Co-Conspired To Control US Beef Industry

In concerning news, a lawsuit has been filed that alleges top meat producers concocted a beef conspiracy for monetary gain.

By Joseph Farago | Published

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You’ve heard about gas inflation, but what about beef inflation? A lawsuit has recently been filed against four of the largest cattle companies believed to be involved in a beef conspiracy. The conspiracy purports that top meat manufacturing companies are price gouging and accelerating grocery store prices. The federal lawsuit includes Tyson Foods, JBS, Cargill, and National Beef.

All four meat distributors are allegedly involved in a beef conspiracy, heightening meat prices for their own personal gains. It is believed that each company had joined forces to create a problem in the meat industry, leaving people destitute for beef products. The four companies were purported to agree back in 2015 that they’d slaughter fewer cows to heighten overall demand. Less meat products available meant higher demand, which skyrocketed general beef prices. Alongside this, a similar lawsuit was filed in 2020 from grocery stores in Minnesota, alleging an identical situation.

The beef conspiracy is not dissimilar to other meat-packing industry issues. Other ongoing lawsuits are also occurring in the pork and poultry industries. Many manufacturers believe they can get away with corrupt behavior while hiding behind general inflation. Instead, meat companies may be purposefully driving up prices unnecessarily and blaming it on the recent inflation uptick.

Sysco Corp, an American corporation, is responsible for filing the recent suit against Tyson Foods, JBS, Cargill, and National Beef. Since all four companies control 80% of overall meat distribution, executives at each corporation made exorbitant amounts of money from the inflated prices. The lawsuit details the massive corporations’ “marketing power” to get away with nefarious price-fixing, inflating meat costs out of sheer will and greed. Though the lawsuit is based mainly on a suspected hunch, one unnamed witness included inside information about the companies’ objectives. The witness stated that they used to work in the meat-packing industry and confirmed that the beef conspiracy was a corporate reality.

Though none have pleaded guilty, one company stands out as a previously-targeted distributor of this ongoing beef conspiracy. JBS, one of the four companies involved in price gouging, has already had a lawsuit against it for similar reasons. Though the company never pleaded guilty, the case reached a massive settlement where JBS had to pay a fee of $52.5 million. The lawsuit parallels the company’s current troubles, which focused on alleged price-gouging and price-fixing behavior. Though JBS got off with the monetary settlement, the agreed payment could be identified as an admission of the company’s guilt.

Like other industries, the meat-packing industry has suffered from an amalgamation of COVID-related issues alongside the recent beef conspiracy. From the pandemic’s start, understaffing problems plagued manufacturing companies, delivering fewer beef and meat products to grocery stores. Even after the vaccine’s nationwide distribution, meat-packing facilities still had problems with supply chain interruptions and hiring sufficient workers. This year, meat industries have stated that complex supply and demand factors have impacted the price increases, not devious plots for wealth.

The beef conspiracy may not be such a conspiracy after all. With previous lawsuits and witnesses, all four meat-distribution companies could be in substantial hot water with a looming guilty verdict.