If you live in the U.S., you’re far more likely to get hit with salmonella or some other foodborne illness, than if you live in the U.K. You can thank the factory farm industry for that.
An investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) and the Guardian found “shockingly high” levels of foodborne illness in the U.S. The Guardian reports that annually, around 14.7 percent (48 million people) of the U.S. population is estimated to suffer from an illness, compared to around 1.5 percent (1 million) in the UK. In the U.S., 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year of foodborne diseases.
Driving these grim statistics is the multi-billion-dollar industrial factory farm industry that not only makes us sick, but pollutes our water and air, exploits workers, is causing an antibiotic resistance crisis and is unconscionably inhumane.
They do it all in the name of “cheap food.”
TBIJ and the Guardian conducted its investigation based on U.S. government documents containing data on 47 meat plants across the U.S. According to the Guardian:
Some of the documents relate to certain companies, including Pilgrim’s Pride, one of the US’s biggest poultry producers, and Swift Pork. Although not a comprehensive portrait of the sector - there are around 6,000 US plants regularly inspected by Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) - the documents provide a snapshot of issues rarely detailed in public which has rung alarm bells with campaigners in both the US and UK.
Those rarely detailed “issues” include: meat contaminated with fecal matter; meat processing equipment contaminated with grease and blood; and chicken dropped on the floor then rinsed with chlorine and put back in the production line.
It’s enough to make anyone’s stomach turn.
It’s also enough to make consumers and entire neighborhoods revolt, and citizens to get more politically active.
Call Costco’s customer service line at 1-800-774-2678. If you’re a member, tell them you’ll cancel your membership unless Costco halts its factory farm project.