It's Time for Big Chicken to Take Responsibility
Environmentalists filed suit against poultry giant Perdue and one of its contract chicken farms last week (March 2) for violations to the Clean Water Act. For decades, livestock producers have allowed large amounts of toxic run-off from animal waste to flow into the streams and rivers feeding Chesapeake Bay. The suit aims to link Perdue to an 80,000-bird factory operation that supplies Perdue with chickens.
Perdue doesn't believe that it has responsibility for the waste, saying that the farmers who sell to Perdue are "independent operators." But EWG senior scientist Rebecca Sutton, PhD, believes that the time has come for Perdue to be held accountable for what its tightly controlled suppliers do with their waste.
Big poultry companies like Perdue control nearly every aspect of the life -- and death -- of chickens raised across the Chesapeake Bay region. They profit from raising and selling chicken but push the task of disposing of all the chicken waste onto contract farmers. It's time Perdue takes on its fair share of responsibility for the pollution in Chesapeake Bay.