Slaughterhouse or No Slaughterhouse

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Books and videos    Career Information    Environmental Issues  Health Issues
    Meat Industry   Quality Beef Processors   Social & Economic Issues 
 Trade Associations & Publications   Web Links

Books and video:

Slaughterhouse Blues: the Meat and Poultry Industry in North America, by Donald D. Stull and Michael J. Broadway.  Belmont, CA, Wadsworth/Thompson Learning, 2004.

Pork Power. CBS 60 Minutes, June 22, 2003.  The program exposes the problems of the waste lagoons (cesspools), the practice of spraying liquefied waste onto the field, leaks and overflows of lagoons, and the effects on the environment.  What happens to legislation?

Modern Meat: A PBS 2002 program presents pros and cons of meat industry consolidation, politics of meat, facts on food-borne illness, and whether the regulations work.

Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, by Marion Nestle.  Berkeley, University of California Press, 2002.

Fast Food Nation: the Dark Side of All-American Meal, by Eric Schlosser.  Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 2001. The author explains how the fast-food industry has changed the nation's retail economy and how it has transformed towns and labor market with low paying dead-end jobs.

A Comprehensive Analysis of the Evolution of the Three Major U.S. Meat Industries: with Implications for the Future Direction of the U.S. Beef Industry, by Jeffrey Gillespie.  Louisiana State Univ. AgCenter Bulletin 877, Nov. 2000.

Consolidation in U.S. Meatpacking, by James MacDonald, et al.  Agricultural Economics Report no. 785, Mar. 1999.

Cutting into the Meatpacking Line: Workers and Change in the Rural Midwest, by Deborah Fink.  University of North Carolina, 1998.

Pigs, Profits, and Rural Communities, edited by Kendall Thu and E. Paul Durrenberger.  SUNY Press, 1998. The book stresses the impact of meat industry on people, communities and environment.

Slaughterhouse: the Shocking Study of Greed Neglect and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry, by Gail Eisnitz.  Prometheus Books, 1997.  The book is an indictment of the entire industry: detached government regulators, profit-conscious managers, illegal practices,  and conditions harmful for workers and animals.

Unionizing the Jungles: Labor and Community in the Twentieth-Century Meatpacking Industry, edited by Shelton Stromquist and Marvin Bergman.  University of Iowa Press, 1997.

Understanding the Impacts of Large Scale Swine Production: Proceedings from an Interdisciplinary Scientific Workshop, June 29-30, 1995.  Organized by Kelley Donham and Kendall Thu.

Any Way You Cut It: Meat Processing and Small-Town America, edited by Donald Stull, et al.  University Press of Kansas, 1995.  A collection of research papers, written by professors and industry specialists, focuses on the social and economic consequences of having a meat plant.  

Beyond Beef: the Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture, by Jeremy Refkin.  New York, Dutton, 1992.  The author criticizes the way modern meat industry operates.  With the new Streamlined Inspection System (SIS), less than 1% of the meat is inspected.  It raises the safety issue for consumers.


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Career information:

Occupational Outlook Handbook (U.S. Dept. of Labor).

The slaughterers and meatpackers work on assembly lines.  Each is responsible only for a few cuts.  Repetition leads to cumulative trauma injuries.  Workers face serious threat of disability due to powerful machine tools.  Workers in meatpacking plants have among the highest rate of injury and illness of all industries according to the Dept. of Labor.


Career Guide to Industries (U.S. Dept. of Labor).

Production workers require little formal education.  Meat cutters and trimmers have the lowest wage in the food industry.  Wage and salary are to decline 3% in the next decade according to the Dept. of Labor. 

Injury rates (U.S. Bureau of  Labor Statistics)

Highest incidence rates of disorders associated with repeated trauma,  2001
Highest incidence rates of total nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases, 2001

Highest rates for lost workday cases - injuries and illness,2001 

Highest rates for cases with days of restricted work activity, 2001

Highest rates for total cases - injuries only, 2001

Community Leaders Support Meatpacking Unionizing Drive.  Nebraska Report, Nov./Dec. 2002.

Shame of Meatpacking, by Karen Olsson.  Nation, Aug. 29, 2002.

The Decline of Unionism in America's Meatpacking Industry, by Roger Horowitz.  Social Policy, v. 32 no. 3, p. 32-36, Spring 2002.

Meatpackers Fight for Health and Safety, by Laura Purdom.  Dollars & Sense, no. 238 p. 6-7, Nov./Dec. 2001.

The Chain Never Stops: American slaughterhouse are grinding out meat faster than ever - and the production line keeps moving, even when the workers are maimed, by Eric Schlosser.  Mother Jones, July/Aug 2001.

Wages for Meatpacking Jobs Here Measuring Up, by Marianne Salcetti.  Garden City Telegram, June 19, 2001.

Cutting the Gordian Knot.  Animal Welfare Institute Quarterly, v. 49 no. 4, Fall  2000.

At a Slaughterhouse, Some Things Never Die; Who Kills, Who Cuts, Who Bosses Can Depend on Race, by Charlie LeDuff.  New York Times, June 16, 2000.

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Environmental issues:

Meat Processing - Environmental Impacts.  Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center.

Tyson Pleads Guilty to Wastewater Dumping at Missouri Plant, by Margaret Stafford, The Associated Press, June 27, 2003.

The RapSheet on Animal Factories. The study presents environmental violations by the meat industry.  It also includes names of companies who commit the violations.  Sierra Club, 2002.

F.A.R.M. Bibliography about Livestock Factories (U.S.) Families Against Rural Messes, 2002.

EPA Issues New Rules on Livestock Waste, by Eric Pianin and Anita Huslin.  Washington Post, Dec. 17, 2002.

Feedlot Perils Outpace Regulations, Sierra Club says. New York Times, Aug. 13, 2002.

3 Wisconsin Meat Plants on Environmental 'Rap Sheet'.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Aug. 13, 2002.

Cesspools of Shame: How Factory Farm Lagoons and Sprayfields Threaten Environmental and Public Health.  Natural Resources Defense Council, 2001.

No Perrier, But a Cattle Slaughterhouse Possible by Jo Sandin.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 27, 2001.

Nebraska Meatpacking Plant Fined for 13 Years of Environmental Violations.  Environmental News Network, Oct. 16, 2001.

Animal Factories: Pollution and Health Threats to Rural Texas.  Consumers Union, May 2000.

Foul yields, USA Today, Feb. 16, 2000. 

IBP to Pay $4.1 Million for Violating Laws.  Occupational Hazards, Nov. 2001.

An Unsavory Byproduct: Runoff and Pollution, by Peter S. Goodman.  Washington Post, Aug. 1, 1999.

America's Animal Factories: How States Fail to Prevent Pollution from Livestock Waste.  Natural Resources Defense Council, 1998.

Chicken Sick, by Dirk Olin.  Mother Junes, July/Aug. 1998.

Status of Groundwater Quantity in Wisconsin published by Wisconsin.  Dept. of Natural Resources, 1997.

Water and Wastewater Management in Food Processing.  The North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service, 1979.

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Health issues:

Center of Disease Control: provides credible information on disease prevention and control. Escherichia coli O157:H7 lives in the intestines of cattle.  It can be passed in the manure.  Meat can also be contaminated during slaughter.  CDC estimates 73,000 cases of E. coli infection and 61 death each year.

Food Safety and Inspection Service.  E. coli Contamination of Beef Product.  9 CFR Part 417.

U.S. Must Do More to Protect Consumers from BSE.  Public Citizen, Critical Mass Energy & Environment Program, May 23, 2003.

E. coli Lawsuits Restored: Meat Producers Target of Ruling, by David Miqoya.  The Denver Post, May 14, 2003.

Neighbors of Vast Hog Farms Say Foul Air Endangers Their Health, by Jennifer Lee.  New York Times, May 11, 2003.

USDA Official: More Being Done on E. coli, by Sarah Fox.  AP Wire, Apr. 8, 2003.

Cattle Industry Targets E.coli.  USA Today, Jan. 9, 2003.

Tougher Meat Safety Rules on the Way.  USA Today, Oct. 28, 2002.

E. coli Outbreaks Sicken 52 in State: Officials Seek Source of Ground Beef; Two Strains of Germ Found, by Meg Jones.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 27, 2002.

Bad Meat, by Eric Schlosser.  Nation, Aug. 29, 2002.

Shared Air, Shared Risks. Garden City Telegram, Aug. 18, 2002.

19 Million Pounds of Meat Recalled after 19 Fall Ill.  New York Times, July 20, 2002.

Beefing About Meat Safety.  CBS News, May 23, 2002.

Industry-led Meat Inspection Program Sends Dirty Meat to Market.  Public Citizen, Press Release Jan. 22, 2002. 

Food Safety: Weaknesses in Meat & Poultry Inspection Pilot Should Be Addressed Before Implementation.  U.S. General Accounting Office, Dec. 2001.

Safety Net Failed in E. coli Cases: Meatpackers Shirk Rules, USDA Lacks Teeth, Review Finds.  Washington Post, Apr. 10, 2001.

Beef Wars: Raid of Bauer Meat after e-coli Break Illustrates Ineffectiveness of USDA Policy.  Washington Monthly, Jan./Feb 2001 p. 45-9.

The Jungle 2000: Executive Summary.  Public Citizen, Sept. 2000

The Jungle 2000: Is America's Meat Fit to Eat? by Felicia Nestor and Wenonah Hauter.  Public Citizen, Sept. 2000. A surveyof the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's meat inspectors.  "Plant managers say the rule is - there are no rules!  We (plant managers) write our own regulations."

Meat and Poultry Inspection Issues, by Jean M. Rawson.  Committee for the National Institute for the Environment, Dec. 1998.

Irradiated Beef Starting to Show up in State Groceries.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Aug. 1, 2000.

Anatomy of an Outbreak.  Time, Aug. 3, 1998 p. 56-62.

Livestock Odors: Implications for Human Health and ... by Susan Schiffman.  Journal of Animal Science, v. 76 no. 5, May 1998 p. 1343-55.

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Meat industry:

Meat Processing.  Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center.

Judge Upholds Denial of Feedlot Permits. Green Bay Press-Gazette, May 30, 2003.

Livestock Slaughter: 2002 Summary.  USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mar. 2003.

The Curse of Factory Farms.  New York Times, Aug. 30, 2002.

Cattleman to Unveil Iowa Quality Beef - Tama Plant Details at Ames Meeting, by John Speer.  Tama News-Herald, Aug. 1, 2002

The Kill Floor Rebellion by David Bacon.  Labor notes, July 2002.

Michael Pollan on Beef Industry, Hormones, Antibiotic.  Fresh Air - NPR, Apr. 3, 2002.

This Steer's Life, by Michael Pollan.  New York Times, Mar. 31, 2002.

City May Regain Possession of Tama Beef in 10 Days: Both Tama, Trustee Have Possible Buyer, by John Speer.  Tama News-Herald, Feb. 7, 2002.

Tama Pack Reported in Continued Violation.  Tama News-Herald, July 26, 2001.

The Last Farm Crisis: the Vanishing Market.  Nation, Nov. 20, 2000.

Unhappy Meals. Atlantic, Dec. 14, 2000. An interview with the author Eric Schlosser.

Tama Beef Packing to Begin Slaughter Operations Thur., Sept. 28, 2000. Tama News-Herals, Oct. 5, 2000.

Meat Processing and Rendering.  Pollution Prevention and Abatement Handbook, World Bank, July 1998 p. 337-340.

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Quality Beef Processors, LLC and others:

Where's the Beef (Plant)?  Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, June 9, 2003.

Dvoraks Beef Farms, LLC.  Proposed 5,000 head beef feedlot permit denied. Garvey & Stoddard, Mar. 13, 2003.

Quality Beef Slaughterhouse in Adams County.  Midwest Environmental Advocates, 2002.

Edgar Has Advice on Beef Plant in Rapids.  Wausau Daily Herald, Dec. 16, 2002.

Wait for Better Than Beef Plant.  Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, Dec. 14, 2002.

Sell Land to Beef Processor.  Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, Dec. 2, 2002.

Dvoraks Beef Farms, LLC. Factsheet on proposed Dvoraks feedlot. 2002.

Beef Plant Plans Almost Underway.  Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, Nov. 30, 2002.

Rapids Officials Seek Info at Meat Plant.  Marshfield News-Herald, Nov. 22, 2002.

Beef Plant Gets Mixed Reactions.  Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, Nov. 7, 2002.

Citizen Urges TR Council to Oppose Feedlot.  Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, Nov. 5, 2002.

Beef Plant Meeting Wednesday.  Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, Nov. 4, 2002.

Town Voices Concerns.  Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, Oct. 23, 2002.

Concerned Citizens of Newport v Dept. of Natural Resources.  Aug. 3, 2001.


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Social and economic issues:

INS Declares War on Labor, by David Bacon.  Nation, Nov. 6, 2002.

Economic Strain and Community Concerns in Three Meatpacking Communities, by Rochelle Dalla and et al.  Rural America, Spring 2002.

Unofficial Sister Cities: Meatpacking Labor Migration Between Villachuato, Mexico, and Marshalltown, Iowa, by Mark Grey and Anne Woodrick.  Human Organization, v. 61 no. 4, winter 2002.

Strangers on the Prairie: Iowa's immigrant population, by Christopher Conte.  Governing, v. 15 no. 4, Jan. 2002.

Meatpackers' Profits Hinge on Pool of Immigrant Labor, by David Barboza.  New York Times, Dec. 21, 2001.

High Stakes on the High Plains.  Garden City Telegram, June 15, 2001.

Cultural Lessons Came with Increased Crime Rate.  Garden City Telegram, June 15, 2001.

New Health Issues Came with Meatpacking.  Garden City Telegram, June 15, 2001.

Meat Packing Evolves Around Bottom Line.  Garden City Telegram, June 15, 2001.

Holcomb Felt Big Impact from IBP.  Garden City Telegram, June 15, 2001.

Garden City's Meatpacking Role Intrigues Researchers.  Garden City Telegram, June 15, 2001.

Socioeconomic Impacts of Agricultural Processing Plants, by F. Larry Leistrize and Randall Sell. Rural America, v. 16 no. 1, May 2001.

Meatpacking and the Migration of Refugees and Immigrant Labor to Storm Lake, Iowa: a Synthesis, by Mark Grey. 

Meatpacker's Managers Arrested in INS Raid, by Cindy Gonzalez.  Omaha World-Herald, Dec. 6, 2000.

Hispanic Diaspora, by Barry Yeoman.  Mother Jones, July/Aug. 2000.

Planning for Change in Small Towns or Trying to Avoid the Slaughterhouse Blues, by Michael J. Broadway.  Journal of Rural Studies v. 16 no. 1, Jan. 2000.

Midwest: Hispanic Immigrants.  Rural Migration News, v. 5 no. 2, Apr. 1999.

Midwest: meat/poultry processing.  Rural migration news, Jan. 1998.

Latino Immigrants, Meatpacking, and Rural Communities: a Case Study of Lexington, Nebraska, by Lourdes Gouveia and Donald Stull.  Julian Samora Research Institute, Research Report no. 26, Aug. 1997.

The Heartland's Raw Deal: How Meatpacking Is Creating a New Immigrant Underclass, by Marc Cooper and Mark Grey.  Nation, Feb. 3, 1997.

Planning Economic Revitalization: Leadership Patterns and Impacts of Growth in Garden City, Kansas, by Angela Donelson.  Contrasts and Transitions: Proceedings of the American Planning Association National Planning Conference, Apr. 5-9, 1997, San Diego, California.

Conference Studies Immigration and Changing Face of Rural America.  North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, 1996.

Meatpacking and the Migration of Refugee and Immigrant Labor to Storm Lake, Iowa: a Synthesis, by Mark A. Grey.  Cedar Falls, Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, July, 1996.

Farmers, Meatpackers, and Rural Communities.  Rural migration news, Apr. 1996.


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Trade associations and publications:

American Association of Meat Processors

American Meat Institute

American Meat Science Association

Meat & Poultry: provides salary and compensation survey, top 50 companies, etc.

Meat Industry News Update

Meat News

National Cattlemen's Beef Association

National Food Processors Association

National Meat Association

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Web links

Center for Rural and Regional Studies

Compassionate Action for Animals

Consumer Federation of America

Environmental Defense

EPA Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO)

Families Against Rural Messes

Farm Sanctuary

Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)

The Food Institute

Food Safety Commentaries

Grace Factory Farm Project

John Lawrence

Midwest Environmental Advocates

National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)

National Catholic Rural Life Conference

Natural Resources Defense Council

Public Citizen: Protecting Health, Safety, & Democracy

Rural Migration News

Save Our State: North Carolina's Voice for the Sustainable Use of Our Natural Resource

Saves Adams County

Sierra Club

United Food and Commercial Worker

USDA Economic Research Service

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service

Wisconsin Wetlands Association

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Wisconsin residents may access BadgerLink: Wisconsin Connection to the World of Information. Choose  newspaper index or journal and magazine index to find more articles on the subject. 

 Compiled by Theresa Chao, June 30, 2003.