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  • 05 Aug 2013 12:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Curiosity had gotten the best of me and, after a crunchy catfish po’ boy at the historic Cliff House along Scenic 7 south of Jasper, I wandered with Pat Flippo of Fayetteville into the sprawling valley below known as the Grand Canyon of the Ozarks. That breathtaking expanse is home to the hamlet of Mount Judea.

    Soon we were navigating the dirt roads that lead to the controversial C&H factory hog farm in the sensitive Buffalo National River watershed. I felt certain, as I always have, that the farm’s owners were operating as promised. Proper management never been an issue for me. My problem has been that the state’s Department of Environmental Quality could even consider approving a concentrated animal feeding operation in this treasured spot along Big Creek that flows, nearly 6 miles down, into the Buffalo.

    My concern has been that our supposed guardians of the state’s precious streams didn’t require extensive groundwater testing in the leaky limestone karst formations that underlie the county. After rumbling along the gravel, we encountered a warning sign where an intersecting dirt road dropped over a rise. The sign contained two colorful large words at both top and bottom that shouted “Cargill,” with a smaller center notation, “C&H Hog Farms.” There also were two specific admonitions that warned not to drive past the sign, along with “No Trespassing” for added emphasis.

    We couldn’t even glimpse the buildings designed to hold as many as 6,500 swine, or those two massive waste lagoons. But wait a second … from what Cargill has said during the months of controversy over the farm’s location is that the farm is the sole responsibility of the local owner and Cargill was more of a minor player. I sure couldn’t discern that from this sign. And while I’m familiar with “No Trespassing” signs, it’s the first time I’ve ever happened across a Cargill-promoting, double-naught, super-secret hog farm in our Ozarks.

    Meanwhile, University of Arkansas geoscientist John Van Brahana, who has been freely testing the water quality and groundwater flow for folks around Mount Judea, tells me his work continues. “We’ve not turned anyone down who would like to have an analysis of their water, although we haven’t yet caught up with the demand,” he said.

    He told me the groundwater flow system he’s discovered thus far is characterized by strong surface water and groundwater interaction. He said there are “numerous springs, streams and a full suite of karst features, all which indicate a risk of subsurface water movement.”

    “The background concentrations of microbes is wide-ranging, indicating the natural flow system does not [dilute] these water-quality components well,” he said. “In other words, the system is open and cannot be counted on to filter or slow the movement of bacteria, viruses and nutrients.”

    Dye-tracing in the subsurface flow to this point has involved collecting background sampling to verify there aren’t existing dyes already within the groundwater system, he said. “We’ve located some good injection sites but continue to look for more.”

    Brahana said local landowners and farmers have been remarkably helpful and polite.

    “They have concerns and fears, but I’ve been impressed with their common sense and awareness of the potential problems from both sides of the argument. This gives renewed hope that continued discussions and further study will help lead to meaningful resolution of potential problems.I’ve heard C&H Farms has entered into additional research with several highly respected scientists. This is a very good sign, from my vantage. Although not verified at this time, this will contribute important information on nutrient management that’s been missing."

    Mike Masterson’s column appears regularly in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Email him at mikemasterson10@hotmail.com. Read his blog at mikemastersonsmessenger.com.
  • 01 Aug 2013 9:01 AM | Anonymous

    Mark Bittman July 9, 2013, 7:58 pm

    Breeding Bacteria on Factory Farms


    Mark Bittman on food and all things related.


    antibiotics, Bacteria, Factory Farming, Food and Drug Administration, Livestock Diseases

    The story of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in farm animals is not a simple one. But here’s the pitch version: Yet another study has reinforced the idea that keeping animals in confinement and feeding them antibiotics prophylactically breeds varieties of bacteria that cause disease in humans, disease that may not readily be treated by antibiotics. Since some of these bacteria can be fatal, that’s a scary combination.

    Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are bad enough, but now there are more kinds; they’re better at warding off attack by antibiotics; and they can be transferred to humans by increasingly varied methods. The situation is demonstrably dire.

    Two of the examples highlighted in a Food and Drug Administration report are that about 10 percent of all chicken breasts sold at retail are contaminated with a form of salmonella that’s resistant to at least one antibiotic, and nearly half of all chicken that’s sold is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant campylobacter. Some of the antibiotics in question are used to treat sick people but are also used daily in raising livestock. And it seems that these livestock, especially ones raised by contemporary industrial means, are a breeding ground for making these and other bacteria more resistant [1] .

    Some of this resistance comes from overuse in humans, but there’s increasing evidence that resistance is being bred in animals that are a) raised in confinement and b) given antibiotics routinely. We want to know, of course, whether these bacteria move from animals to humans. Of particular concern is one called MRSA ST398, or “livestock-associated MRSA.” MRSA
    [2] is shorthand for Methicillin (a type of antibiotic)-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

    MRSA is serious [3] . Maryn McKenna [4] , a journalist who specializes in these matters and the author of “Superbug,” says that “MRSA is an underappreciated epidemic in the U.S. undefined over all, that organism causes more than 18,000 deaths and more than 365,000 hospitalizations a year undefined although we don’t know how much of that epidemic ‘livestock-associated MRSA’ is responsible for.”

    The latest study concerning antibiotic resistance was published last week in the journal PLoS One. It looked at livestock workers in North Carolina (the nation’s second biggest hog-producing state, after Iowa), including those in what the study’s authors called “industrial” livestock production and those on farms where the animals were raised without antibiotics and grown on pasture. In this study, the S. aureus bacteria with genetic markers most closely linked to livestock were found in far greater numbers in workers on the industrial farms.

    In fact, says Christopher Heaney, corresponding author of the study and assistant professor of environmental health sciences and epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, “This study shows that these livestock-associated strains are present among workers at industrial livestock operations and that these strains are resistant not just to methicillin, but to multiple antibiotics undefined including antibiotics that are used to treat human infections.”

    Because the study looked at workers and not animals on the same farms, there are gaps to fill in, as Heaney freely admits. “But everyone in our study had direct or indirect contact with livestock,” he says, “and one might expect to find similar prevalence of an opportunistic pathogen like S. aureus that is linked with livestock in both groups.

    “But we didn’t see that: we saw both a higher prevalence of drug resistance undefined for tetracycline and multidrug resistance undefined in the industrial compared to the antibiotic-free group and, in the industrial group only, we saw drug-resistant strains with multiple genetic characteristics linked to livestock.

    “That’s remarkable; we never expected to see something so clear at the outset of the study.”

    A reasonable person could assume that these drug-resistant staph bacteria are coming from animals, since you generally don’t find them in the non-livestock-working population in the United States.

    This is another dot in a sketch that’s becoming clearer. There’s evidence of MRSA moving from pigs to humans in Iowa undefined where pioneering research has been done by Tara Smith at the University of Iowa undefined and in Europe, where Jan Kluytmans, an epidemiologist at VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, has found that “approximately 40 percent of all new persons with MRSA carry the livestock-associated strain, and most are related to contact with animals. Our data on MRSA are convincing that livestock is now a huge reservoir of MRSA for humans.”

    The F.D.A., which is under court order to do something about the routine use of antibiotics, has come up with a lame voluntary reduction scheme undefined “Guidance 213,” it’s called undefined acting as if it will save its real regulatory muscle for after this scheme flops. (Which it will undefined flop, that is.) Worse, despite repeated promises that the voluntary guidelines were imminent, they haven’t issued even those. And now, “Guidance 213 is currently in the clearance process, but we cannot predict a timeline on its release,” an agency spokeswoman wrote me in an e-mail. Period.

    That’s simply insulting. Of course, almost no one is pushing the F.D.A. to do its job. There are a handful of people in Congress; certainly some well-meaning NGOs like Pew Charitable Trusts, Natural Resources Defense Council and others; and dedicated individuals like the lawyer Bill Marler. Against them are arrayed not only Big Pharma undefined which is providing four times as many antibiotics to animals as it is to humans undefined but industrial ag, which cares only about raising animals “efficiently” and profitably.

    At whose cost? Well, the answer to that question, at least, is pretty simple.

    1. Bacteria can share resistance genes with other bacteria, even in humans, even with those that have never been exposed to antibiotics or seen the inside of a farm animal.

    2. I said this was not simple: There are some broad categories of MRSAs: community-associated, hospital-acquired (the best-known) and livestock-associated. Each of the first two comprises dozens undefined or more undefined different strains. At the moment, ST (sequence type) 398 is the most common livestock-associated MRSA, but there are others. And there is also MDRSA undefined for Multi-Drug Resistant staph aureus undefined which is ultimately even scarier, because the drug resistance has spread to other important antibiotics. (Like, “Oh, we can’t use methicillin? Let’s use tetracycline. Oh, that doesn’t work either?” Meanwhile the patient is getting sicker and sicker.) It gets more complex but no less awful.

    3. This (PDF) long anecdote is quite horrifying and the opposite of reassuring. Be prepared.

    4. Here’s her blog on Wired about this subject.

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    antibiotics, Bacteria, Factory Farming, Food and Drug Administration, Livestock Diseases

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  • 27 Jul 2013 7:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Questions followed permit

    Mike Masterson

    There’s a new twist in the C&H Hog Farms controversy. First, though, let’s briefly review:
    You may recall that the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality scheduled no public hearings, and published no notices of application in Newton County before permitting the C&H hog factory farm in that rural county’s Buffalo National River watershed at Mount Judea.
    Moreover, neither the agency’s Newton County office nor the agency’s director were aware of the farm’s permit until after it had been issued in the late summer of 2012. During a public meeting held in Jasper (the Newton County seat) on May 8, 2013undefinedlong after it might have even matteredundefinedEnvironmental Quality permit manager John Bailey wound up answering questions on behalf of the farm’s owners.
    In short, the odiferous way this factory farm’s permit was so effortlessly issued in such a sensitive environmental area has teemed with relevant questions for me and many others.
    Now there are even more.
    A Freedom of Information Act request has led to a document that reveals that, months after the agency issued its permit, the agency’s professional engineer based in Jasper questioned methods described in the farm’s notice of intent filed with its application.
    The nationally qualified engineer, Marysia Jastrzebski, emailed her list of specific comments and concerns to Bailey on Dec. 21, 2012undefinedmonths after Environmental Quality had permitted the farm.
    Her concerns included the nature of C&H Farms’ construction contract; possible leakage and the wisdom of applying raw hog waste into karst terrain; the potential potency of that waste compared with human waste; the possible amounts of precipitation that could prompt waste spills; the adequacy, capacity and construction of the storage lagoons and engineering concerns with the levees and a missing spillway; as well as the apparent inadequacy of public notice related to properly permitting the farm.
    Bailey responded to Jastrzebski by telephone rather than in writing, according to the department’s chief communicator, Katherine Benenati. She explained that the agency has no policy that requires written responses to internal concerns expressed in writing, even from one of its engineers.
    Say what?
    It’s difficult to believe any state agency of professionals would operate that way. But why be concerned since their permit had been issued?
    It’s obvious to me that Jastrzebski wasn’t opposing the factory farm. Her questions were about the notice of intent and the manner in which the department had processed and approved the permit. The legitimate points she raised certainly should have been resolved as a matter of due diligence before the permit was issued.
    I have to believe that because this concerned department engineer expressed her relevant concerns, Gov. Mike Beebe will now ensure that Jastrzebski isn’t targeted for political retribution within the agency. I seriously doubt the people of Arkansas would look kindly on that sort of thing.
    In fact, it’s vigilant public servants like Jastrzebski who, from the nature of her salient questions, should have been overseeing the permitting process for this mislocated farm from the start, although she ordinarily wouldn’t even have been included in the permitting process for such a factory farm. (See her entire email published at my website address listed below.)
    A Jastrzebski concern of particular interest to me was that the farm’s notice of intent says up to 5,000 gallons per acre each day of hog waste would be allowed to escape into “the karst terrain within five miles from the [Buffalo National River]. We calculated that it would be approximately 3,400 [gallons] per day. We are not talking about raw domestic wastewater … but hog waste,” she writes. Hog waste is far more biologically potent than that of humans.
    Duane Woltjen, a mechanical engineer from Fayetteville and a director with the Ozark Society, said that considering the actual “planar area” of both hog-waste lagoons, each with the potential to leak, his calculations instead show some 6,190 gallons of daily hog waste potentially seeping from those holding ponds lined in clay.
    That’s potentially 1.3 million to 2.3 million gallons of hog waste leakage allowed over a year into the Buffalo National River watershed via the nearby tributary of Big Creek.
    The revelation of Jastrzebski’s email prompted Woltjen to summarize: “The quality of the Buffalo National River, the health of the citizens and the tourist economy of the region have all been greatly jeopardized by the [Department of Environmental Quality’s] clearly demonstrated incompetency, lack of diligence, obfuscation and simple underutilization of common knowledge as disclosed by this set of interdepartmental email messages.”
    Mike Masterson’s column appears regularly in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Email him at mikemasterson10@hotmail.com. Read his blog at mikemastersonsmessenger.com.
  • 27 Jul 2013 7:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    State may fund pollution testing on hog farm in Mt. Judea

    Arkansas Times: http://m.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2013/07/26/state-may-fund-pollution-testing-on-hog-farm-in-mt-judea?section=868702

    Posted by David Ramsey on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    TESTING PROPOSED: C&H hog farm is willing.
    I’ve heard from a number of lawmakers and stakeholders that the governor is having ongoing discussions about state-funded, independent testing on the C & H hog farm in Mt. Judea, which has sparked controversy because of its location by a tributary of the Buffalo River. The state would contract with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture to conduct nutrient and bacteria monitoring on soil and water on and near the farm. The scope of the project is unclear at this point.
    “The governor has been looking for a way that we can work within existing state laws and regulations to have as much monitoring on the hog farm operation as possible,” said Matt DeCample, Gov. Mike Beebe’s spokesman. “What he wants to do is to propose using rainy day funds, which would need legislative approval, to do ongoing testing and monitoring up along that part of the watershed. We’re working with the University of Arkansas on that.”

    DeCample said that the project is “by no means a done deal” and that he had no details at this time about what the testing might entail. The C&H farmers are on board, but they also need permission from the various landowners that the farmers lease from.

    DeCample said there was no timetable on a formal announcement or proposal.
  • 26 Jul 2013 8:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has extended the comment period on proposed changes to the current permit for a Yell County hog farm.

    The extension was granted after a citizen requested an extension at a public hearing in Dardanelle on July 22, 2013, to discuss the proposed changes to the permit. The comment period was set to expire at the end of the hearing.
    The facility, owned by Michael Darr, doing business as Darr Swine Farm, is located at 10519 Gibson Lake Rd., east of State Highway 7 about four miles south of Dardanelle. The proposed permit modification would increase the number of hogs allowed at the facility, add land application sites for animal waste, and allow the construction and operation of a second earthen holding pond for liquid waste from the operation.
    Written comments on the proposed changes may be sent to Casey Vickerson, Water Division, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118. Electronic mail comments may also be sent to: Water-Draft-Permit-Comment@adeq.state.ar.us. The deadline for submitting written or E-mail comments is 4:30 p.m. July 26, 2013.
    Interested parties should contact Casey Vickerson at the above address or by telephone at 501-682-0648 for information about the proposed permit, including instructions on how to obtain or view a copy of the proposal.
  • 24 Jul 2013 10:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    From NWAOnline: 

    Hog-Farm Plan Goes To Hearing
    Many Back Darr Expansion
    By Ryan McGeeney

    DARDANELLE - When Mike Darr, co-owner of Darr Swine Farm near Dardanelle, began planning to expand the farm he and his family have worked for about the past 20 years, the last thing he thought it would cost him was a neighbor.

    “We used to wave at each other as we drove by,” said Darr, referring to members of the Pelto family, who own and operate a 200-acre cattle operation located nearby. “We don’t do that anymore.”

    The Darrs, who are contracted to provide pigs for Cargill, Inc., are hoping to nearly triple their current operation, expanding from 580 sows, four boars, and 800 weaner pigs to 1,500 sows, five boars, 800 weaners and as many as 2,000 nursery pigs. The expansion requires larger housing facilities, an additional lagoon to handle the hog waste and additional acreage upon which to spread the manure.

    In December, Darr applied for a statewide general permit for concentrated animal feeding operations from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, but later withdrew the application and instead submitted a request to modify the farm’s existing permit, a Regulation 5 no-discharge permit. Had Darr received the general permit for which he’d applied in December, Darr Swine Farm would’ve been only the second operation in Arkansas to receive the permit, after C&H Hog Farms in Mount Judea.

    In April, members of the Pelto family requested a permit hearing from the Environmental Quality Department, citing public health concerns over the expansion of Darr Swine Farm. Trish Pelto, daughter-in-law to Daniel Pelto, who began farming in the county in the early 1970s, led the effort, gathering petition signatures and seeking advice from organizations including the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, a nonprofit advocacy organization based in Idaho that helps individuals organize political resistance against large-scale “factory” farms.

    Trish Pelto acknowledged that there had been a cooling between the families since she began her efforts to slow the Darr family’s farm expansion.

    “We haven’t spoken to each other,” Pelto said. “It’s really driven a wedge between the two families. We were never that close, but we’d wave to each other, acknowledge each other. Now that’s not really the case.”

    On Monday, the Environmental Quality Department held a public hearing on the proposed permit modification at the Dardanelle City Hall. Representatives from the department, including deputy director and water division chief Ryan Benefield, assistant water division manager Mo Shafii, water division engineer supervisor Katherine Yarberry and water division engineer Casey Vickerson, gave an overview of the typical permitting process and provided some specific details about the Darr Swine Farm permit modification before opening the room to questions from those in attendance.

    More than 50 people attended, about a half-dozen of them wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “No CAFOs,” referring to concentrated animal feeding operations, defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as any agricultural operations where animals are confined indoors at least 45 days in a 12-month period, where no vegetation is growing within the confinement area and where the number of animals falls within agency-established criteria.

    Kathy Martin, an environmental consultant whom Pelto asked to assist in the effort to halt the expansion of the Darr farm, immediately began peppering department representatives with questions regarding a series of perceived inconsistencies in the Darr’s comprehensive nutrient-management plan, a 290-page document outlining how operators will deal with the waste of several thousand animals.

    Others in attendance asked department representatives about whether the property values of neighboring landowners would be a factor in the department’s decision on the permit, or whether the department regulated strong odors sometimes associated with hog farming.

    The answer to both questions was “no.”

    “This permit does not cover air emissions,” Benefield said. “The department can only regulate those things which we’ve been given the authority to regulate, either by the federal government or the state government.”

    Many of the people in attendance supported the Darrs and their desire to expand. Several made comments in favor of the Darrs and the regulatory process, rather than pose questions to the representatives.

    After the period of open discussion, Benefield announced the hearing would begin, during which residents would have five minutes each to read their official written comments aloud, before being entered into the department’s official record.

    The official statements were a mixture of concerns over technical aspects of the farm’s nutrient-management plan and emotional appeals in support of the farm.

    Darr emphasized his family’s commitment to farming in the area.

    “I’m not here to badmouth anyone, or disrespect anyone, but I do want everyone here to know my family story,” Darr said, reading from a prepared statement.

    “Some citizens that live down our dead-end road are saying that this would affect water quality,” Darr said. “These citizens don’t know our family, as we are diehard outdoorsmen that love to hunt and fish and will do nothing to jeopardize these activities for our future generations. As a farmer, I have an unwritten oath to protect the environment and to leave the land better than I received it.

    “We live 10 times closer than anyone to this hog farm,” Darr said. “So who do you think would be the most at risk here? Do you think, if there were any truth to this issue, that I would jeopardize my precious family, as we breathe the same air as these citizens do?”

    Martin asked those in attendance to consider the concerns voiced by the Pelto family and others without regard to their personal support of the Darr family.

    “If you have nearly a million gallons of feces and urine sitting in three ponds out back yonder, and you don’t believe there are any pollutants or pathogens of concern, and you don’t believe there’s any threat to your family, then we certainly can’t rely upon you to protect the people across the street,” Martin said.

    “This is not some obscure urban myth, concocted to torture you,” Martin said. “This is science coming back and saying, ‘Hey - if you have 800,000 gallons of fecal matter, it’s volatilizing. You’re inhaling it. If you can smell it, it is inside your body.”

    Benefield said the period for submitting written comments on the proposed permit modification had been extended through 4:30 p.m. July 26. Comments can be sent to Casey Vickerson, Water Division, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, Ark. 72118, or emailed to Water-Draft-Permit-Comment@adeq.state.ar.us.

    Katherine Benenati, a department spokesman, said the department will respond to all comments before making a final decision on whether to approve the permit modification.

  • 18 Jul 2013 6:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Defecation Nation: Pig Waste Likely to Rise in U.S. from Business Deal
    A proposed acquisition of Smithfield Foods would send pork to China and leave more pig feces in the U.S., potentially increasing the risk of superbug infections and other diseases

    By Dina Fine Maron Scientific American, July 12, 2013

    We put up with a lot of crap - literally.

    Last year, at least 4.7 billion gallons of hog manure in the U.S. came from one company, Smithfield foods, the nation's leading pork producer. The feces load will rise if U.S. regulators green-light a proposed merger that would bring the firm under the auspices of a China-based company. That increase could also promote the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and increase health risks for hog farm workers and the communities living around them.

    Under a proposed multibillion-dollar deal, Hong Kong–based Shuanghui International Holdings would buy Virginia-based Smithfield Foods. The stated purpose of the merger, the companies say, is to efficiently increase pork production. If the deal goes as planned, Smithfield will ultimately export more meat to China, where the appetite for pork continues to climb upward even as Americans buy less of it. But with that expected production boost comes an uptick in hog feces left in the U.S.undefinedand subsequent health and environmental risks.

    The impacts of industrial-scale hog production like Smithfield’s have played out in the courts and medical journals for decadesundefinedlargely from the way the firms handle the waste. The majority of hog feces from Smithfield sits in earthen lagoons where it naturally ages for six to 12 months before the slurry is then sprayed on agricultural fields as fertilizer.

    Studies on communities living around such farms have indicated individuals exposed to the odors and emissions from around the lagoons have more respiratory complaints and increased asthma symptoms. Moreover, when hogs are raised in crowded environments in industrial-scale farms they require greater quantities of antibiotics (pdf) to promote growth and compensate for unsanitary conditions. That antibiotic use is linked with increased antibiotic resistance in humans.

    Indeed, researchers in particular worry that antibiotic-laden hog manure can seep into the water and air as well as bodies of people surrounding such farms, with subtle implications both for health and for the spread of antibiotic resistance. In one study high concentrations of antibiotic and multidrug-resistant bacteria were detected inside and downwind of an industrial-size swine production facility, but not upwind. Other work linked antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in groundwater and private drinking wells to swine facilities located upstream. This month more than 580 residents of eastern North Carolinaundefinedthe state with the most Smithfield hogsundefinedfiled complaints against the company, charging that the pollution from that hog production deprives them of the use and enjoyment of their property.

    Smithfield, which operates across 12 states, brought 15.8 million hogs to market in fiscal 2012undefinedand each hog, according to the company, produced an average of 1,100 to 1,300 liters of manure during its lifetime (including the water used to push the pig feces into pits below their pens). Smithfield says there will be no changes to the company’s production practices or its sustainability plan. “It will be the same old Smithfieldundefinedonly better,” Larry Pope, company president and chief executive officer, told the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on July 10. “Without this opportunity to grow outside of the United States there is no opportunity for U.S. pork producers to expand.”

    With the deal, Shuanghui is getting something more important than more meat, charges Usha Haley, professor of management and expert on emerging markets at West Virginia University. The company would also be acquiring the clout of Smithfield’s name and knowledge of U.S. production practices and technology, she says. The merger would then help fuel China’s shift toward even more hog farms that adopt Smithfield’s vertically integrated processesundefinednamely, industrial-size farms that raise pigs in close quarters and dispose of their waste through the lagoon-and-spray method, thereby threatening to reproduce the same health and antibiotic-resistance issues in China.

  • 11 Jul 2013 11:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    PUBLIC VIEWPOINT: Time To Fight Goliath Corporations
    By Ginny Masullo, Fayetteville

    Another large hog facility is seeking a permit in Arkansas.
    This time the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public meeting regarding this specific operation in Yell County, as they so flagrantly did not do for the C&H hog facility in the Buffalo River watershed. This meeting will be at 6 p.m. July 22 in the Dardanelle City Hall, 120 N. Front St.
    The more I read about these operations, the more I am amazed that they are allowed to continue to pollute our air and waterand our food. Corporations such as Cargill like to put a positive spin on their environmental record.
    However, if one begins to explore what they have done to devastate air and water quality all over the world we see the negative eftects of their so-called environmental practices and ethical standards. (http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/ tools-and-resources/cargilla-threat-to-food-andfarming/)
    Cargill and other corporations like them are who we are up against to preserve areas like the Buftalo River, not tomention our sources of food. These corporations need to be held accountable for the unsafe practices they promote.
    As noted by the nonprofit Corporate Research Project (http://www.corp-research. org/cargill) Cargill has frequently been associated with controversies involving food contamination, workplace injuries, anti competitive practices and environmental violations.
    These corporations with their powerful lobbies and monetary support of research institutions are Goliath and we, the people, are David. Our bag of stones includes not allowing farm subsidies to benefit these factory operations. Billing these operations as farms, which they are not, allows them something of a free pass on certain air, water and solid waste emissions.
    We need to educate ourselves about these businesses and ask that our government representatives do the same. This is an issue of our time that affects each citizen’s rights to healthy air, water and food.
    I hope we can make our voices heard.
    Opinion, Pages 5 on 07/11/2013

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