You’ve never seen this company’s name on a package of ground beef or steak.
That’s because the world’s largest beef producer, JBS, doesn’t sell beef under its own name.
But U.S. consumers buy millions of pounds of JBS beef every year, under brand names like Cedar River Farms, Swift Black Angus, 5 Star Reserve and others, in stores like Costco, Walmart and Kroger, to name a few.
Consumers also unknowingly support JBS when they buy burgers at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King, and at other restaurants supplied by the meat giant.
JBS supplies Sysco, the world’s largest food distributor, which supplies hundreds of restaurants, hospitals, government agencies, nursing homes, schools and hotels.
Sysco, in turn, wholesales JBS meat and other food products to Aramark and Sodexo, food distribution companies that also supply institutions like schools, hospitals, government agencies, prisons and more.
JBS is big. It's the biggest of the world’s Big Meat companies. And it has some big problems.
According to this July 2019 report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism:
“When it comes to scandals, you can take your pick — during its rapid rise to become the world’s biggest meatpacker, JBS and its network of subsidiaries have been linked to allegations of high-level corruption, modern-day “slave labour” practices, illegal deforestation, animal welfare violations and major hygiene breaches. In 2017 its holding company agreed to pay one of the biggest fines in global corporate history—$3.2bn—after admitting bribing hundreds of politicians. Yet the company’s products remain on supermarket shelves across the world, and its global dominance only looks set to grow further.”
This week, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported on yet another JBS scandal, a tale of “skinny cows” and fat lies that highlights the meat giant’s role in burning down the Amazon Rainforest, the “lungs of the planet.”
Given how far JBS’s tentacles reach, you may think it’s impossible to avoid supporting the company, no matter how corrupt, exploitative and destructive its practices.
But you can. By making it a point to find out where your steak and burgers come from. And by aligning your meat purchase with your values.
Read 'Big Beef: You May Not Recognize the Name. But This Bad Actor’s Meat Is Sold Everywhere—Except by Your Local Grass-Fed Farmer or Rancher.'
SIGN THE PETITION: It’s Time for Radical Reform: No More Factory Farms!
The years-long campaign to require labels on genetically engineered food and food ingredients ended badly about four years ago, on August 1, 2016.
That’s when when then-President Obama caved into Monsanto and Big Food by signing into law a bill dubbed the “Dark Act” because it was designed to “Deny Americans the Right to Know” if their food is GMO.
This week, a coalition of retailers and nonprofits launched a lawsuit, demanding that the sham National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard be “nullified and then revised.”
The successful hijacking of the legislative process by Monsanto and Big Food lobbyists desperate to avoid transparency about products and production processes wasn’t new four years ago, and hasn’t changed since.
Today, Congress is enabling Big Food by allowing Big Meat to do everything from suppress data about COVID-19 outbreaks at slaughterhouses, to secure immunity from prosecution for knowingly endangering workers.
Our job, as consumers, honest retailers, organic regenerative farmers and ranchers and environmental and food advocacy groups, is to keep doing everything we can to hold big corporations and the politicians they’ve captured accountable.
Meanwhile, check out this analysis of the lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for trying to keep consumers in the dark.
Read the lawsuit
Read ‘GMO Labeling: USDA ‘Bioengineered’ Labeling Rules Are Unlawful, Argues Lawsuit’
Make a tax-deductible donation to our Millions Against Monsanto campaign
In April, when we were still grappling with the mere idea of a pandemic, Mercola.com published an article on how best to defeat the coronavirus: Fix your health, by fixing your diet.
Last week the Federal Nutrition Research Advisory Group published a white paper echoing that advice, and going so far as to conclude that Americans’ diets are so poor, they threaten U.S. security:
“Stark national nutrition challenges were identified. More Americans are sick than are healthy, largely from rising diet-related illnesses. These conditions create tremendous strains on productivity, health care costs, health disparities, government budgets, US economic competitiveness, and military readiness. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has further laid bare these strains, including food insecurity, major diet-related comorbidities for poor outcomes from COVID-19 such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, and insufficient surveillance on and coordination of our food system and national security.”
The Mercola article cited early studies of COVID-19 patients revealing that underlying health conditions like heart disease and diabetes are linked to “poorer clinical outcomes,” such as admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), a need for invasive ventilation or death.
As the pandemic rolls on, and new studies emerge, some early observations remain just as relevant four months later: Diabetes in particular puts patients at high risk for infection and poor outcomes.
If ever there were a time to take control of your health, to address your diabetes or other diet-related health problems, now would be that time. This article goes in-depth into the why—and more importantly, the how. Starting with food.
Read ‘Want to Defeat Coronavirus? Address Diabetes and Hypertension’
SIGN THE PETITION: Stop the Genetic Engineering of Viruses! Shut Down All Biowarfare Labs Now!
MORE ON COVID-19
Watch ‘Bret Weinstein and Yuri Deigin: Did Covid-19 leak From a Lab?’
Read ‘Lab-Made? SARS-CoV-2 Genealogy Through the Lens of Gain-of-Function Research’
Read ‘SARS-CoV-2 — A Biological Warfare Weapon?’
“The longer and harder the status quo is maintained, the greater the system contorts. Eventually, it breaks and reforms. The question is how.” — Chris Oestereich, author of “Pandemic Capitalism”
If you’ve been following our work around ending factory farming and transitioning to an organic regenerative food and farming system, you know we’ve been calling for “radical systems change.”
We just don’t think making small “improvements” to a fundamentally corrupt and broken system, a system built on the exploitation of humans, animals and nature, is a solution.
In his book, “Pandemic Capitalism,” Chris Oestereich makes the case that our “current flavor of ‘no holds barred’ capitalism,” designed to exploit the many for the benefit of the few, is at the breaking point.
Writing about his book, Oestereich points to the recent failures of the industrial food system as a perfect example of how our “brittle” economic system is collapsing in the face of the coronavirus pandemic:
“By late April 2020, 5,000 workers had tested positive and dozens of plants had closed. Millions of animals were led to slaughter with no intent of feeding people. Instead, they were killed in service of mitigating financial losses. At a time when hunger was rife, we learned that a system built for efficiency was indifferent to challenges beyond its balance sheets.”
Oestereich says the current system is dying, but says it won’t go quietly:
"We can allow it to continue thrashing about and possibly give rise to something even darker, or we can fight to build something better.”
We’re fighting for something better.
Please join us, either by engaging with us on social media, by signing petitions and contacting lawmakers, sharing our work widely with family and friends . . . or if you are able, please make a financial contribution. Thank you.
Make a tax-deductible donation to OCA
Support Citizens Regeneration Lobby, OCA’s 501(c)(4) lobbying arm (not tax-deductible)
Donate $100 or more and we’ll send you a copy of Ronnie’s new book
Click here for more ways to support our work
Next time you think to yourself, “I’m dying for cheeseburger,” think about this: There are slaughterhouse workers actually dying so Big Meat companies can keep selling their burger meat to grocery stores and fast-food chains.
According to the Food & Environmental Reporting Network’s latest numbers, 168 slaughterhouse workers have died from COVID-19 and another 27,000 have tested positive.
Who’s responsible? Five, huge, billionaire-owned companies—and the politicians they’ve bought off so they can keep their plants running, without having to keep workers safe.
As the Union of Concerned Scientists reported, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is one of those politicians looking out for Big Meat, not workers:
“Secretary Perdue’s alignment with big corporate interests over the public interest has been clear for a while. But his knee-jerk reaction to this case, along with related pending actions at his USDA, suggests that he is willing to throw workers, farmers, rural residents, consumers, and clean air and water overboard to protect Big Pork’s bottom line.”
Meatpacking workers should be protected, no question. But the real solution is to transition those workers to better paying, safer jobs in an organic regenerative food and farming system, or some other industry.
Meanwhile, how can consumers help?
#BoycottBigMeat. Buy 100% grass-fed and pastured meat from small producers who work within a network of smaller, more humane (for animals and workers) processing facilities.
And stay away from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and the like.
Watch ‘Behind Closed Doors . . . in America’s Meat Processing Plants’
CHECK THIS OUT: Find grass-fed and pasture-raised meat and animal products near you
Think About This When You Eat an Impossible Burger
Gates Foundation’s ‘Failing’ Green Revolution in Africa: New Report
Meat Industry Campaign Cash Flows to Officials Seeking to Quash COVID-19 Lawsuits
A Skeptical Farmer’s Monster Message on Profitability
How COVID-19 Made It Easier to Talk About Climate Change
Willie Nelson Backs Regenerative Agriculture on His 500-Acre Luck Ranch
Consumers Hold the Key to Building a Better Meat System