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Tyson Foods Now Listed as Bigger Polluter than US Department of Defense, Koch Industries and Exxon Mobile



Tyson Foods is already infamous for its abhorrent animal abuse on the factory farms it uses to provide the world with chicken, eggs, and other meat products, but it seems that its agribusiness is now so toxic it beats even the worst corporate polluters on the planet — the US Department of Defense, Koch Industries, Exxon Mobile, Dow Chemical, Cargill, and International Paper Co., among them.

Tyson’s loathsome practices have been revealed in numerous undercover investigations. They’ve been caught red handed torturing hens for their eggs, beating and striking pigs while confining them to filthy, over-packed pens, and forcing chickens and baby chicks to live in pens that are so disgusting that they often die standing in their own waste, suffocating on the ammonia fumes created by pounds and pounds of their excrement.

New research has exposed Tyson’s contribution to the degradation to America’s waterways now, as well.   As one of the world’s largest producers of meat and poultry, they are contributing to dead zones from the Chesapeake Bay to the Gulf of Mexico and even threatening our drinking water.

Their destruction of our waterways, air and soil comes from their farm operations, which include the use of petroleum and chemical fertilizers, fertilizer run-off from GM grain used to feed their livestock, and waste from its processing plants.

When cornered in interviews about its use of genetically modified organisms, a Tyson representative has stated:

We have systematically genetically modified all the foods, the vegetables and the animals that we have eaten ever since we cultivated them.

The Tyson rep continued to describe seedless watermelons, long stem roses, apples, and other produce to further the point, but all these things were created with traditional hybridization techniques, not the biotech industries Round-Up ready seeds, planned which exterminate themselves (and thus why they were deemed suicide seeds) nor their gene-altering techniques.

Tyson’s attempt to standardize their corporate practices, and make them digestible by a public leerier than ever of GM products is eerily similar to some of the Biotech industry’s incessantly used “talking points.”

Tyson has to report on its factory farm and fertilizer runoff to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with other corporate entities, who in turn composes a Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) report.

This report reveals that Tyson and its subsidiaries have already dumped 104 million pounds of pollutants into waterways from 2010 to 2014 – the second highest volume of toxic discharges reported to TRI for those years. This year’s report shows similar levels of toxic substances have been released into the world by Tyson.

Tyson releases mostly nitrate compounds, which can contribute to algal blooms and dead zones and also pose threats to human health, including “blue baby syndrome” for infants.

Michaele Birdsall, treasurer and deputy executive director of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, which has been fighting to expose Tyson’s practices states:

“Water is more than a community issue; access to clean, refreshing, life-giving water is a human right. . . Because we continue to be as committed to the environmental and social performance of the companies in our investment portfolio as we are to their financial performance, we offer a resolution for a vote by all Tyson shareholders that addresses the availability of clean and safe water for all people. Corporate policies that protect water in communities where they operate are fundamental to corporations’ social responsibility to society.”

While there have been many petitions urging Tyson to stop torturing animals, maybe we should be focusing on stopping the company’s catastrophic environmental damage, as well.


Image credit: EatDrinkBetter,

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