The National Chicken Council has responded to today’s release of a paper attacking the cattle, hog, dairy, egg and broiler industries by an activist group, calling it a “term paper” that should be graded “F.” The NCC statement follows:
The term paper on food animal production being released by Food & Water Watch ought to get an “F” for carelessness with the facts and biased outlook. The paper tells us only that the authors are obviously opposed to the system of production that has brought Americans an abundant supply of high-quality food at affordable prices. As far as the broiler chicken industry is concerned, the system allows more than 30,000 farm families to stay on the land by producing chickens for the integrated companies. The companies also provide more than 250,000 jobs in processing plants and other facilities, pumping millions of dollars into local economies. Contrary to the uninformed claims of Food and Water Watch, poultry facilities are often located in prosperous area such as Northwest Arkansas where unemployment rates are low and the companies must compete for workers by paying good wages and offering benefits.
Finally, it must be noted that the Food & Water paper is obviously not a scientific exercise because it calls for the premature cancellation of a study of air emissions from animal production facilities that is now being conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled just last week that the air emissions study was a proper exercise of EPA’s enforcement powers. The purpose of the study is to find out what is actually emitted from these facilities, and these findings can serve as the basis of regulatory action if any is needed. Food and Water’s attitude seems to be, “Don’t confuse us with the facts; our minds are made up.” Or as the Queen of Hearts put it, “Sentence first, verdict afterwards.”
The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of NCC account for approximately 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.