Mighty Earth protesters gather outside Tyson HQ calling for clean water
SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KTUL) —
Around 50 people gathered outside Tyson Food's world headquarters in Springdale, Ark. on Thursday morning to urge the company to clean up its act. The group was there to present more than 60,000 signatures to the company's CEO.
"We know that the EPA might not be doing their best job right now. It's really important that corporations step up," said Aaron Viles with a group called Care2.
"I'm wearing a chicken hat, and there is going to be a chicken suit to raise awareness about Tyson chickens and the awful meat and feed practices they are using to raise their feed," said one of the protesters.
In 2005, the state of Oklahoma sued Tyson for polluting the Illinois River in the eastern part of the state, because all the grain grown to feed the chickens requires a lot of fertilizer that pollutes the rivers and streams in our area. There hasn’t been a ruling yet but arguments have taken place.
While the Mighty Earth protesters are saying that Tyson is not doing enough with cleanup, Tyson is saying they have actually done a lot to help with water quality.
"We've made great progress using grain much more efficiently, and we're going to continue that process by talking to our farmers and our academic experts and others about ways we can make a difference," said Gary Mickleson with Tyson Foods.
They feel like they are being targeted for something that's a much larger issue, as they aren't the only ones using grain.
Mighty Earth agrees that there is more than just one company involved, but they still want a company as large as Tyson to hear their message loud and clear.
"The more people who know about this issue, the more people who are talking about this issue, [and] the more interest Tyson will take in fixing this issue," the group said.
Tyson says they continue to make progress in using grain more efficiently. In a statement, Tyson said Mighty Earth's claims are misleading because they say the group is ignoring the other ways crops are used, narrowing in on the meat and poultry industry.