Tyson Foods wins the award for dumping the most toxic pollution into U.S. waterways, says a new report by Environment America Research & Policy Center.
“When most people think of water pollution, they think of industrial pipes spewing toxic chemicals,” said John Rumpler, senior attorney with Environment America and author of the report. “But this report shows how, increasingly, corporations like Tyson are turning farms into factories and ruining our rivers and bays in the process.”
The Environment America study documented pollution from Tyson and four other major agriculture conglomerates, responsible for an estimated 44 percent of the pork, chicken, and beef produced in the U.S. According to the report, Tyson’s subsidiaries and company-owned slaughtering plants discharged more than 20 million pounds of toxic pollutants into U.S. waters in 2014—more by volume than even Exxon Mobil or Dupont—according to data the company reported to the federal Toxics Release Inventory.
Right behind Tyson were these four top meat conglomerates operating in the U.S.:
- Brazilian meat giant JBS, with over 45.8 million tons of manure and over 37 million pounds of toxic pollutants over a five-year period
- Minnesota-based private company Cargill, a major cattle producer, with 39 million tons of manure annually and over 50 million pounds of toxic pollutants over a five-year period
- Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods, based in Virginia, which claims to be the world’s largest hog producer, with over 18.9 million tons of manure and 27 million pounds of toxic pollutants over five years
- Chicken-producer Perdue Farms, based in Maryland with over 3.7 million tons of manure and 27 million pounds of toxic pollutants over five years.
h/t: Organic Consumers Association