BySky Chadde, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, Kyle Bagenstose and Rachel Axon USA TODAY |
Even as thousands of their employees fell ill with COVID-19, meatpacking executives pressured federal regulators to help keep their plants open, according to a trove of emails obtained by USA TODAY and The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.
ByLeah Douglas, Food and Environment Reporting Network |
Smithfield’s ad, which was published the Washington Post Omaha World-Herald, and New York Times, begins with a quote from Teddy Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts … the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”
ByKyle Bagenstose, USA TODAY and Sky Chadde, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
A week after President Donald Trump attempted to prop up the nation's meat supply chain through an executive order, the industry remains hobbled by plant closures and production losses, USA TODAY and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found.
ByCynthia Voelkl/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
At least two million animals have already reportedly been culled on farm, and that number is expected to rise. Approved methods for slaughtering poultry include slow suffocation by covering them with foam, or by shutting off the ventilation into the barns.
As more and more Smithfield workers in South Dakota fell ill with COVID-19, the company's workers at a Missouri plant contended with policies that made social distancing almost impossible, according to an affidavit from a plant worker filed in a lawsuit last week.
BySky Chadde, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, and Kyle Bagenstose USA TODAY |
As coronavirus cases mounted at meatpacking plants this month, the federal government granted 15 poultry processors waivers to cut chickens faster, usually by crowding more workers onto their production lines.
Meat processing workers at Smithfield Foods in Milan, Missouri, were raising concerns about their working environment even before nearly 600 employees of a Smithfield plant in South Dakota contracted COVID-19.
Smithfield shut down its South Dakota plant indefinitely Sunday, and some workers in Milan fear it’s only a matter of time before the coronavirus overwhelms their community, too.