Mighty Earth’s new investigation traces responsibility for a massive dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico — and related water pollution impacts across the country — to specific companies, notably Tyson Foods, America’s largest meat company.
To identify the companies responsible, Mighty mapped the supply chains of the top meat and feed companies, and combined that with data showing elevated nitrate concentrations in waterways that are experiencing high levels of fertilizer pollution. The report also mapped where these supply chains are driving destruction of natural grasslands, including native prairies, putting new regions at risk for fertilizer pollution.
America’s largest meat company, Tyson Foods, stood out for its expansive footprint in all the regions suffering the worst pollution impacts from industrial meat and feed production. Tyson produces one out of every five pounds of meat produced in the United States, and owns brands like Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, and Sara Lee, in addition to selling to fast food retailers like McDonalds. The company is consistently ranked among the top polluters in America, although Tyson’s new CEO has declared that a focus on sustainability will be at the center of the company’s future plans.
Read about how this pollution is impacting the Gulf and other waterways in the Guardian’s article here.