Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tyson: What are they feeding US?


Have you had your Tyson Today? I thought it was very interesting how nice and well put together the tyson website is, check it out right HERE. Tyson is performing great tasks such as the Tyson A+ project that put boxtops for kids on tyson products so that parents and kids are more likely to buy these products. This is a great marketing strategy to tarket young kids who need this microwavable lifestyle. And this food on the go mindset. Tyson is also involved in what they call the Tyson Hunger Relief project which you can check out HERE. People sponsored and affiliated with Tyson all around the USA and the world are helping those in need and those who are hungry. Philanthropic action is a great way to gain trust in the community as well as develop a brand recognition amoung your targeted market. Now that I have shown you what Tyson shows you, and if you checked out the sites what delicious and "Nutritious" products they have to offer why dont we check out a little about their financials. Here is the Google Finance Page for Tyson Foods Inc. there stock seems to be pretty consistent. And here is there 3rd quarter earnings for 2011, HERE. They seems to overestimate the deamand for there products which is shown in the statements. From these 4 pages you can get a well rounded feel for who the Tyson Corporation is, lets dig alittle bit deeper. Here are the main controversies that Tyson has been accused of comminting.

 Inside a broiler farm

In 2005, journalists Sally and Sadie Kneidel reported on their tour of Tyson broiler farms. According to their report, each windowless shed on a typical Tyson broiler farm is approximately 42 by 400 feet (120 m) and holds around 24,000 chickens, giving each chicken 0.7 square feet (0.065 m2) of floor space. This calculation doesn't account for the space occupied by the automated food and water pipes running the length of each building. The chicks arrive from the Tyson hatchery in plastic boxes all at once, one day after hatching. They are bred to grow quickly, especially the breast muscles, which provide the most expensive cuts of meat. Their breast muscles may grow so big that occasional broilers become too heavy to walk and thus starve. Each farmer must walk the length of each of his/her sheds 5 times per day to check for dead birds, which may be cannibalized if left in place. Toward the end of the broilers' stay, the birds get very crowded. Crowding reduces costs – the propane bill to heat just one shed can be $5,000 per winter. Crowding also keeps the chickens from moving around; immobile chickens gain more weight. Because there are too many chickens to establish a pecking order, aggression is common. Some of the chickens in a large broiler shed may develop inflamed patches of skin from sitting on the fecal waste on the floor, which is scheduled to be cleaned out every 18 months. The bare, red skin may attract pecking from other chickens, making the sore areas even more conspicuous as targets. Chickens in a broiler shed reach market weight of around 6 pounds after only 7 to 8 weeks in the shed. At that time, Tyson workers arrive in a tractor trailer truck to pack the entire flock into crates and take them to the nearest Tyson meatpacking plant, or processor, where they are slaughtered and packaged for supermarkets. After a week or two of vacant sheds, a new flock of chicks arrives in plastic boxes, and the cycle starts again. Each Tyson farmer goes through 5 or 6 cycles each year. Tyson owns the chickens and provides all their feed, as well as feed additives such as antibiotics to promote growth. But Tyson farmers must provide the land and construct the sheds at their own expense. A single shed may cost $280,000 to $300,000 to construct. The farmers operate under contract to Tyson. When the fecal waste in a shed is scraped out every 18 months, the farmer is responsible for disposing of it. His or her only legal option is to spread it onto crop fields. When more is applied than plants can absorb, there is increased risk that it may run off into nearby streams and then rivers, causing nutrient pollution and promote eutrophication. With antiquated spreading practices, airborne ammonia from spread waste can also be a health issue for neighbors of broiler farms. By forcing contractual farmers to provide the land and sheds for raising Tyson broilers, the liability for environmental damages goes to the farmers.

Environmental record

During the past decade, Tyson has been involved in several lawsuits related to air and water pollution. In June 2003, the company admitted to illegally dumping untreated wastewater from its poultry processing plant near Sedalia, Missouri, pleading guilty to 20 felony violations of the federal Clean Water Act. As part of the plea agreement, the company agreed to pay $7.5 million in fines, hire an outside consultant to perform an environmental audit, and institute an "enhanced environmental management system" at the Sedalia plant. At the same time, Tyson also settled a case filed by the Missouri attorney general's office related to the same illegal dumping.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency began the investigation into the discharges in 1997, and federal officials served two criminal search warrants at the plant in 1999. According to EPA and U.S. Department of Justice officials, Tyson continued to illegally dump wastewater after the search warrants were executed, prompting an EPA senior trial attorney to remark that: "Having done this work for nearly 20 years, I don't recall any case where violations continued after the execution of two search warrants. That's stunning." Under the federal and state plea agreements, Tyson agreed to pay $5.5 million to the federal government, $1 million to the Pettis County School Fund and $1 million to the Missouri Natural Resources Protection Fund to help remedy the damage

In 2002, three residents of Western Kentucky, together with the Sierra Club, filed a lawsuit concerning the discharge of dangerous quantities of ammonia from Tyson's Western Kentucky factories. Tyson settled the suit in January 2005, agreeing to spend $500,000 to mitigate and monitor the ammonia levels.[
In 2004, Tyson was one of six poultry companies to pay a $7.3 million settlement fee to the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, to settle charges that the use of chicken waste as fertilizer had created phosphorus pollution in Tulsa's main drinking water sources.

Employment of undocumented immigrants

In 2001, Tyson was charged with conspiracy to smuggle undocumented workers to work on its production lines. Tyson plant managers arranged for delivery of illegal workers with undercover immigration officials. Prosecutors alleged that the conspiracy to import workers dates back to 1994 when plant managers began to find it difficult to fill positions with legal workers. Of the six managers who were indicted, two accepted plea bargain deals, and one committed suicide one month after being charged. In March 2003, a federal jury acquitted Tyson of having knowingly hired illegal immigrants.
In May 2006, Tyson suspended operations at nine plants during a nationwide day of immigration demonstrations citing expected lack of workers.
In October 2006, a federal judge granted class-action status to a lawsuit brought by Tyson employees who allege that Tyson's practice of hiring illegal immigrants depresses wages 10–30%. The suit further contends that the company violated federal racketeering laws by conspiring with National Council of La Raza and League of United Latin American Countries not to question the employment applications of anyone with a Hispanic surname.

 Use of slaughtering methods

From December 2004 through February 2005, an undercover investigator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claimed to have worked on the slaughter line of a Tyson Foods chicken processing plant in Heflin, Alabama. Using a hidden camera, he allegedly documented the treatment of the more than 100,000 chickens killed every day in the plant. PETA alleges that workers were instructed to rip the heads off of birds who missed the throat-cutting machines. He claims he saw birds scalded alive in the feather removal tank, and he said that managers said that it was acceptable to scald 40 birds alive per shift. Interestingly the job the investigator was hired to do was to prevent the alleged abuses he videotaped: preventing birds from going into the scald tank alive. The investigator claims plant employees were also seen throwing around dead birds just for fun. PETA has asked Tyson to implement controlled atmosphere killing (CAK). For this reason, PETA is boycotting businesses that use Tyson as a supplier, such as KFC and distribution channels such as Sunset Strips. The video, taken by the investigator of the killings, was posted on YouTube. In 2006, Tyson completed a study to determine whether CAK, which uses gas to render chickens unconscious before slaughter, could be a more humane practice than conventional electrical stunning. According to Bill Lovette, Tyson's senior group vice president of poultry and prepared foods, the study found no difference between the humaneness of the two methods. The company plans to ask scientists at the University of Arkansas to initiate a similar study to test these initial results. The research will be led by the newly created Chair in Food Animal Wellbeing at the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences of the University of Arkansas. Tyson has committed $1.5 million to help establish the Chair, which will be involved in overseeing research and classes focused on the humane management and treatment of food animals.

Undisclosed use of antibiotics

In 2007, Tyson began labeling and advertising its chicken products as "Raised without Antibiotics." After being advised by the USDA that Tyson’s use of bacteria-killing ionophores in unhatched eggs constituted antibiotic use, Tyson and the USDA compromised on rewording Tyson’s slogan as "raised without antibiotics that impact antibiotic resistance in humans." Tyson competitors Perdue Farms and Sanderson Farms sued claiming that Tyson’s claim violated truth-in-advertising/labeling standards. In May 2008, a federal judge ordered Tyson to stop using the label.
In June 2008, USDA inspectors discovered that Tyson had also been using gentamicin, an antibiotic, in eggs. USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety Richard Raymond claimed that the company hid the use of this antibiotic from federal inspectors claiming that the use of this chemical is standard industry practice. Tyson agreed to voluntarily remove its “raised without antibiotics” label in future packaging and advertising.



  1. I absolutely agree, shit just aint write. I found out the other day that foster farms is alot better. So when you go to the store just get foster farms, they use less hormones and better living conditions for the foul. Ill return the +1.