Lives on the Line: The Human Cost of Cheap Chicken

Oxfam Research Report, Lives on the Line: The Human Cost of Cheap Chicken. Oxfam America, 26 October 2015. “Chicken is the most popular meat in America , and the poultry industry is booming. Profits are climbing, consumer demand is growing, and executive compensation is increasing rapidly. But one element remains trapped at the bottom: the workers on the poultry processing line. Poultry workers 1) earn low wages of diminishing value, 2) suffer elevated rates of injury and illness, and 3) often experience a climate of fear in the workplace. These problems affect the entire industry, but the top four chicken companies control roughly 60 percent of the domestic market: Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s, Perdue, and Sanderson Farms. As industry leaders, these companies can and should implement changes that will improve conditions for poultry workers across the country.

The full report explores industry history and trends in consumption, documents the realities and challenges of life working on the line, and offers concrete recommendations to improve conditions.”

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Farmaceuticals: The drugs fed to farm animals and the risks posed to humans

Brian Grow, P.J. Huffstutter and Michael Erman, Farmaceuticals: The drugs fed to farm animals and the risks posed to humans. Reuters Investigates, Part One, 15 September 2014. Part Two, 4 December 2014. Part Three, 23 December 2014. Part One: “Documents reveal how poultry firms systematically feed antibiotics to flocks…. Pervasive use [of antibiotics] fuels concerns about impact on human health, emergence of resistant superbugs.” Part Two: “On American dairy farms, sharp rise in the misuse of a potent but risky drug…. The antibiotic ceftiofur is a wonder drug for dairy farmers. But its strength–and the frequency at which it’s used improperly in cattle–pose a threat to public health.” Part Three: “Veterinarians face conflicting allegiances to animals, farmers–and drug companies…. The FDA is counting on vets to curb antibiotic use, but not even the government knows which of the animal doctors has financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.”

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