Processing Magazine

Poultry producers fight to end federal polluting lawsuit

March 6, 2006

Embattled poultry growers and producers went to the Oklahoma state Capitol to lobby lawmakers and urge an end to a federal lawsuit that accuses them of polluting watersheds with chicken litter, the Associated Press reports. A week after losing a legal round in the U.S. Supreme Court, poultry industry officials recently met with lawmakers and treated them to a lunch of chicken, beef and pork products as they spread the message that Oklahoma''s lawsuit jeopardizes the future of their industry. State Attorney General Drew Edmondson said the industry has made no overtures to him about resuming failed negotiations to reach an out-of-court solution. Last year, Edmondson sued 14 Arkansas poultry companies — including three run by Tyson Foods Inc. — accusing them of tainting Oklahoma waters with the waste from millions of chickens and turkeys. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Arkansas'' attempt to sue Oklahoma over the dispute. Arkansas officials said the federal lawsuit would hurt the state''s $2 billion poultry industry.