The Tyson foods corporation has been a mainstay in U.S. freezers and refrigerators for decades now, in large part because of its ability to deliver chicken and other meats of many different types and sizes to consumers at an affordable price.
But what price are we really paying for cheap and plentiful chicken?
According to a new camapaign seeking to hold Tyson Foods, Inc. accountable for alleged crimes against the environment, the price is a high one.
The company is not solely responsible, but it is likely the biggest culprit according to a recent report linking the meat industry, including major companies like Tyson, to the largest dead zone in U.S. history, currently residing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Campaign Launched to Hold Tyson Responsible
As noted in a recent article from EcoWatch.com, Tyson Foods has been linked to the largest toxic dead zone in U.S. history, as its industrial-scale operations have allegedly caused farm run-off that has threatened to ruin the environment on a scale not yet seen.
This past summer, the non-profit Mighty Earth conducted a comprehensive study into which communities in the U.S., especially near bodies of water draining down toward the Gulf, experience the largest amount of water contamination from fertilizer pollution. Tyson Foods was a common link among the worst offenders.
In stark contrast to organic methods (including the up-and-coming regenerative agriculture style) that respect the environment and maintain animal waste in a closed system, industrial factory farms like the ones being run by Tyson are the number one source of water pollution, according to the EcoWatch article.
Tyson is the largest meat producer in the U.S. and the second largest globally; one of the “pioneers” of a sprawling industrial meat production system that continually sends massive amounts of pollution from industrially farmed (and mostly GMO) corn and soy for animal feed downstream into the Gulf and other bodies of water, along with animal manure.
Now, Mighty Earth is working to hold Tyson and the meat industry accountable for the damage it’s caused to both communities and the environment.
Clean It Up, Tyson Campaign Gets Underway
With over 60,000 signatures so far, the ‘Clean It Up, Tyson’ campaign seeks to “clean up America’s meat,” in hopes of cleaning up the environment as well. The goal is to send a letter to CEO Tom Hayes telling him to clean up Tyson’s dirty ways to protect rivers and help reverse the dead zone.
“Tyson Foods need to step up and make a clear commitment to cleaning up pollution from its meat that is contaminating waters across the country,” the official page states.
“That’s the core message that Green Corps organizers will be bringing to communities most affected by this pollution as part of Mighty Earth’s campaign for cleaner meat.”
For the project, Mighty Earth has partnered with Green Corps to place seven grassroots organizers in communities across the Midwest and Gulf ranging from Chicago all the way down to New Orleans.
The organizers will work to create grassroots movements designed to hold Tyson accountable for its recent pledge to become more sustainable, and to help communities most impacted by meat industry pollution.
The dead zone has been measured at nearly 9,000 square miles, making clear that this is a massive problem warranting serious consideration and change.
For more information, check out the full article on EcoWatch by clicking on this link.
Final Thoughts: Will Tyson Foods Fix the Problem?
According to Tyson Foods’ website, the company says it is committed to “protecting the environment through pollution prevention and continuous improvement,” as well as compliance with environmental laws, regulations and other requirements.”
They also state that they will “set high standards for themselves where opportunities are found.”
Considering the gravity of the situation in the Gulf and on farmland across the country, where Tyson’s brand of industrialized farming is causing havoc, now sounds like the perfect time to hold them accountable for raising their standards and shifting to more eco-friendly methods before it’s too late.
Thumbnail photo via NASA/Goddard SVS