Major food distributor SYSCO is the latest company to sue the nation's four dominant beef companies, alleging they conspired to limit supplies and fix the prices of beef sold to the company. 

The company said in its lawsuit that it had the testimony of a confidential source at a Swift Beef Co. facility in Cactus, Texas, who “confirmed that all of the defendants agreed to reduce their cattle purchases and slaughter volumes for the purpose and effect of increasing their margins.”

Swift is owned by JBS. The other defendants are Tyson Foods, Cargill and National Beef.

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Tyson declined comment. A Cargill spokesperson said the firm “is confident in our efforts to maintain market integrity and conduct ethical business. We believe the claims lack merit and intend to vigorously defend our position.” Neither National Beef nor JBS responded to a request for comment.

The case was filed in Texas but was transferred this week to the federal district court in Minnesota, where Chief Judge John R. Tunheim is presiding over consolidated cases from around the country making similar allegations. The cases are entitled In Re: Cattle and Beef Antitrust Litigation.

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