Companies like Tyson Foods, Cargill, Inc., and Perdue Farms Inc. dump their garbage—more than 206 million pounds of it—into our water almost every year and leave others to worry about the clean-up. Now, as the Environmental Protection Agency considers a rule to restore the Clean Water Act, these companies are pulling out all the stops to maintain their freedom to dump and pollute, regardless of the toxic outcomes.
Tyson Foods, who primarily produces chicken, sends over 18 million pounds of toxic chemicals into U.S. waterways every single year, according to a new report from Environment America. They account for 9 percent of the nationwide total, and they share their top spot with other similar corporate agribusiness and food producing companies who are sending waste into the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay, Mississippi River, and Puget Sound, among other U.S. waterways.
We aren’t just talking about a little leak, a trickle of toxins; we are talking about 206 million pounds of waste.
“America’s waterways should be clean – for swimming, drinking, and supporting wildlife,” said Ally Fields, of Environment America Research and Policy Center. “But too often, our waters have become a dumping ground for polluters. The first step to curb this tide of toxic pollution is to restore Clean Water Act protections to all our waterways.”
These companies didn’t get to the massive profitability they are at now simply through grocery sales. Tyson Foods, for example, contracts with fast food giants like KFC and McDonald’s. In other words, if you eat from the drive-thru, you are supporting their water-destroying ways.
The companies want to retain their current positions, able to pollute our water supply, so much so that they combat any attempt to control the amount of toxins allowed into the water. Through loopholes and court cases, they’ve made it so drinking water for 117 million Americans is now at risk of having no protection against pollution.
“Looking at the data from our report today, you can see why polluters might oppose any efforts to better protect our waters,” said Ally Fields. “That’s why we are working with farmers, small businesses, and hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans to make sure our voices for clean water are heard in Washington, D.C. The future of the waterways we love – from the Chesapeake Bay to the Colorado River – hangs in the balance.”
Monsanto isn’t the only one dumping (toxic) waste into the water. Something needs to be done – and not just court-issued fines, even if they are Millions or 10’s of millions of dollars.