Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Play

The latest on the PRO Act, which could bring major changes to labor law, especially in "right-to-work" states; and COVID spikes result in new mandates.

Play

Travel restrictions are extended as Delta variant surges; some public-sector employers will mandate vaccines; President Biden says long-haul COVID could be considered a disability; and western wildfires rage.

Groups Call on Consumers to Boycott Large-Scale Meat Producers

Play

Tuesday, July 14, 2020   

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The corporate meat industry is the target of a new campaign that asks consumers to boycott products from large operations. Those behind the effort point to recent situations in Iowa as examples of longstanding issues that need to be resolved, and cite a wide range of issues including worker safety, animal welfare, environmental impact and consumer health.

The "Boycott Big Meat" campaign is being led by a number of organizations, including the Organic Consumers Association. That group's international director, Ronnie Cummins, said they hope the power of consumers gets the attention of policymakers, as well as the industry itself.

"We're calling on consumers to think when they pull out their wallet and to stop buying meat from the big meat companies," Cummins said.

Instead, the campaign suggests consumers turn to items produced in ways that aren't as harmful to the environment and come from smaller, independent operations where safety and fair wages are a priority.

Workplace protections were a key issue at a number of meat plants in Iowa and other states this past spring, as coronavirus cases soared at several facilities. A key trade group, the North American Meat Institute, did not respond to a request for comment before deadline.

Darryl Morin, Forward Latino president, said they want to ensure the industry is held accountable for exploiting meat-plant workers, many of whom are people of color, during the COVID-19 crisis.

"We are seeing lives lost to the interest of corporate profits," Morin said.

Sherri Dugger, executive director at the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, said they want Congress to approve measures such as the House version of the Farm Systems Reform Act, which she said could help level the playing field when it comes to regulating meat producers.

"We really want to push for policy that helps to transform these rural communities where these operations exist - these industrial operations, meat-packing plants, as well as the concentrated animal feeding operations - that we want to help transition to a better food system," Dugger said.

The coalition said that includes products considered organic and regenerative that are pasture-raised and come from grass-fed animals.

The Farm Systems Reform Act would place an immediate moratorium on the construction of new or expanding large factory farms, while phasing out existing operations. Opponents of the bill say it could lead to higher costs for consumers.

But the coalition argues cheaper products that come from big factories result in a lot of hidden costs, including taxpayer-funded subsidies and environmental clean-up and health care costs related to harmful drugs and chemicals in the products.

Disclosure: Organic Consumers Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Environment, Rural/Farming, Sustainable Agriculture. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Smoke from the Bootleg fire in southern Oregon is blowing across Idaho and as far east as New York. (National Interagency Fire Center/Flickr)

Environment

BOISE, Idaho -- Wildfires are affecting air quality across the West, bringing hidden dangers in smoke that can harm people's health. The Boise-based …


Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Cultural institutions in the U.S. are facing scrutiny to be more accessible and inclusive. The organization in charge of Iowa's …

Environment

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Last month's deadly heat wave in the Northwest underscored the need to reduce carbon emissions, but advocates want to ensure low-…


Supporters of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act say if it can't clear the Senate, they hope certain provisions will be included in spending-related measures. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MINOT, N.D. -- Many arguments are being floated about legislation before Congress that would bring big changes to U.S. labor laws. The bill has its …

Health and Wellness

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Health-care advocates called on Missouri lawmakers to allocate funds for Medicaid expansion right away, after the state …

Maine is among the first states to pass a bill for free school meals for all students, regardless of household income. (WaveBreakMediaMicro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

AUGUSTA, Maine -- School meals in Maine will be free for all students again this year and into the future, but parents are being urged to fill out …

Environment

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A report outlines how federal efforts to bring solar energy to one in four American households could bring clean energy to …

Social Issues

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- AARP Wyoming is gearing up for a series of Webinars and Telephone Town Halls to help residents of all ages get their financial …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021