ByHuiqi Xu, Maureen Strode and Andrew Withers/For the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
The injury rate in the poultry processing industry is already higher than many other industries. Yet the rate would be higher still if not for faulty data collection methods and widespread underreporting problems across the meat and poultry processing industry, according to a 2016 Government Accountability Office report.
The number of new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have increased across the U.S. over the past six years - bringing the total operations just under 20,000, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency. From 2011 to 2017, the United States saw more than 1,400 new large-scale concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) established. That’s up 7.6 percent. Here's a look at the issue in maps and charts.
The federal government has taken steps aimed at reducing the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a serious health threat that sickens an estimated 2 million people in the United States each year. But nobody knows if those steps — many focused on monitoring the antibiotics given to cattle, hogs and chickens raised for food — are working.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza – bird flu – has affected more than a dozen U.S. states and led to the slaughter of more than a billion birds. Poultry producers in Arkansas alone have had to kill more than 870 million broilers and about 30 million turkeys in attempt to control spread of the virus. In neighboring Missouri, producers have killed more than 440 billion broilers and about 11 million turkeys.
Months after a handful of senators called for better food-safety regulations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed new standards for cut up poultry. Currently, agencies only monitor whole poultry carcasses for pathogens.
As Americans gear up to eat more than 40 million pounds of turkey this month, a handful of U.S. senators are calling for stronger Department of Agriculture oversight to reduce pathogens in poultry. Their push follows a recent government report that found poultry products – such as chicken and turkey – cause more foodborne-illness deaths than any other commodity.
ByClaire Everett/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
As China has rapidly shifted from a rural society to a more urban society, U.S. meat-production companies have looked to capitalize on new business opportunities. Tyson Foods Inc and Cargill, two of the largest poultry producers in the world, have already established production plants in China. However, some experts say that business abroad has not been profitable yet and that companies are looking to further control their foreign operations.