Seriously, Agriprocessors, can you really be THAT bad?

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2 min read

I’ve got to say I wasn’t too shocked this morning when I read about a certain kosher slaughterhouse in a certain small town in Iowa being raided by the Feds over immigration violations. Yes, PETA’s old Postville, Iowa-based friend, Agriprocessors, has been busted yet again. As reported by USA Today, “76% of the 968 employees of Agriprocessors were using false or fraudulent Social Security numbers in connection with their employment.” This raid was the largest of its kind. Ever. (Well, at least in the U.S.)

Why, you might be asking, was I not so shocked to learn of this raid? Agriprocessors is not exactly known for being an upstanding member of the corporate community. Nor is it known for its unwavering sense of right and wrong. You may recall that in 2004, a PETA undercover investigation revealed workers at this same facility ripping the tracheas out of live cows’ throats day after day. Or what about that time in 2007 that another PETA undercover investigation—at a facility owned by the same guy who owns Agriprocessors—documented employees tearing into conscious cows’ throats with meat hooks?

Oh, and there’s more. The United Food and Commercial Workers union states on its Web site that USDA documents “cite numerous food safety violations committed by Agriprocessors that may have increased the risk of food-borne illnesses to consumers.” And let’s not forget about the whole mis-labeling issue when an independent food testing laboratory that analyzed various Agriprocessors products revealed that one of its brands of turkey meat had a sodium content 339% higher than what was advertised on the nutrition label (and another brand was 138% higher). Then there was that incident in 2006 when Agriprocessors paid more than $600,000 to settle an Environmental Protection Agency complaint regarding its discharge of pollutants into the Postville water treatment facility. Joining the USDA and EPA in the band of government agencies recording Agriprocessors’ failures, OSHA (that’s the Occupational Health and Safety Agency) logs from this facility reveal five amputations along with dozens of other serious injuries, including broken bones, eye injuries and hearing loss; if that’s what the workers went through imagine what it was like being an cow or chicken at Agriprocessors!

Such a fine company.

Well, we’ve had it with Agriprocessors. Today, PETA fired off a letter to Chet Culver, governor of Iowa, asking that Agriprocessors be shut down once and for all. As the letter says: “Enough is enough.”

Posted by Matt Prescott, Assistant Director of Corporate Affairs

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