Smithfield’s Hog Farms Spilled Over 7.3 million Gallons of Waste Across Missouri, Report Says


By Mieke Leenders, One Green Planet

May 8, 2022


Research by the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project (SRAP) reveals Smithfield’s factory farms’ chronic pollution record for the last three decades. The report, which amasses public records from 1991 to 2021, finds that Smithfield’s concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have been responsible for spilling over 7.3 million gallons of hog waste across the state of Missouri. In the past 15 years, Smithfield’s CAFOs have “caused an average of 25 spills per year,” resulting in over 244,000 gallons of waste annually.


“CAFOs are known to pose serious threats to the environment, public health, and socioeconomic conditions in surrounding communities. In Missouri, hog CAFOs operated by Smithfield Foods, Inc., are among the worst actors,” the report states, and also points at Smithfield Foods’s “ongoing failure to comply with state regulations established to protect public health and the environment, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR’s) failure to enforce these rules.”


“Purported Commitment to Responsible Food Production”


Smithfield is the largest pork and pig producer in the U.S. And while they boast a responsible food and environmental policy backed by an ISO 14001 Certificate, SRAP finds that Smithfield is not living up to its mission.


“Public records clearly show that Smithfield’s Missouri CAFOs have been major polluters ever since they were built,” Sherri Dugger, executive director of SRAP, said in a press release. “It’s difficult to reconcile the staggering volume and frequency of spills with Smithfield’s purported commitment to responsible food production.”


Smithfield had already caused a stir in March of this year when Missouri CAFOs were fined for violating clean water laws. Pig waste, which is commonly stored in “lagoons”, often contains nitrogen and phosphorus as well as pharmaceuticals and pathogens, which can find their way into people’s drinking water. Pig waste spills have also been shown to have a disastrous effect on marine life.


Smithfield Foods Hog Farms and Social and Environmental Injustice ...


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