Stop Food Processing Plant’s Toxic Pollution of Waterways

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Target: John Tyson, CEO of Tyson Foods, Inc.

Goal: End Tyson Foods’ toxic pollution of rivers, lakes, and streams.

Tyson Foods, Inc. has been dumping millions of pounds of toxic waste directly into our waterways. According to a recent study by Environment America, a Tyson industrial food processing plant was responsible for dumping 104 million pounds of pollutants from 2010 to 2014. The EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory reported 20 million pounds being dumped in 2014 alone, and these figures do not even include the pollution from factory farms which raise livestock for Tyson Foods. Tyson Foods processes an average of 41 million chickens, 133,000 cows, and 383,000 hogs per week. All of this livestock produces a huge amount of manure, which has been implicated in water pollution across the nation. If we consider how much pollution is created from that manure alone and add it to the already appalling numbers, we can see how much toxic waste is generated by just one food processing plant.

The majority of Tyson’s discharges are nitrate compounds, which can contribute to algal blooms and dead zones. Algal blooms can choke waterways and kill huge amounts of fish, and excessive nitrates can also pose a threat to human health. “Blue baby syndrome,” for example, is caused by high nitrate levels in drinking water and makes it difficult for infants’ blood to carry oxygen. This toxic pollution is dangerous, and must be investigated and put to an end.

Tyson Foods claims that it is not breaking any laws under the EPA’s Clean Water Act. However, this is far from the first time that the company has been criticized by activists and conservationists. There have been several pleas to end the inhumane treatment of its livestock, as well as various lawsuits due to toxic discharges and pollution. Clearly the EPA’s regulations are either insufficient or not being properly enforced at the processing plant, and Tyson’s reputation does not speak in its favor.

These dangerous discharges of toxic waste into rivers, lakes, and streams must be ended. Sign the petition below to demand that Tyson Foods enforces sufficient regulation of its waste disposal, and urge the company to dramatically cut pollution from its operations.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chairman Tyson,

Tyson Foods, Inc. is responsible for dumping 104 million pounds of pollutants into waterways from 2010 to 2014, and this dangerous contamination of rivers, lakes, and streams must come to an end. In 2014 alone, the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory reported 20 million pounds of toxic waste being dumped into waterways. These figures are much too high, and this kind of pollution is harmful to both the environment and the people whose water is affected.

A large amount of the discharges are nitrate compounds, which can contribute to dead zones and algal blooms that choke waterways and kill huge amounts of fish. Furthermore, excessive nitrates in drinking water can pose a serious threat to human health. “Blue baby syndrome” is caused by high nitrate levels and reduces the ability of infants’ blood to carry oxygen, and nitrates have also been shown to increase the risk of diabetes.

I am urging you to dramatically cut pollution from your company’s operations. Please take action to enforce stricter regulation of your company’s waste disposal, and end Tyson Foods’ toxic pollution of waterways.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: United States Department of Agriculture

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