Tyson Foods has been accused of dumping over 371 million pounds of toxic pollutants into American waterways between 2018 and 2022. A recent Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) investigation highlights that nitrogen, phosphorus, chloride, oil, and cyanide were among the contaminants dispersed into 87 billion gallons of wastewater from Tyson’s processing plants. This wastewater also contained animal feces and blood, which directly impacted critical ecosystems in 17 states, particularly Nebraska, Illinois, and Missouri.

The pollution has threatened wildlife and human health, with Tyson’s Dakota City plant identified as the primary offender, releasing over 60 million pounds of contaminants into the Missouri River. The UCS analysis, shared exclusively with the Guardian, shows that these pollutants contribute to oxygen depletion, algal blooms, and water contamination, endangering both aquatic life and communities relying on these water sources.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under pressure to impose stricter regulations to limit pollution, as the current guidelines are outdated and ineffective. However, the powerful meat-processing industry, which spent $4.3 million on lobbying in 2023, is pushing back against tighter regulations. Tyson, as the world’s second-largest meat producer, is at the center of this environmental crisis.

Despite being a Fortune 100 company, Tyson failed to respond to repeated requests for comment on this issue. Local groups and activists are calling for urgent reforms to protect American rivers and lakes, with the EPA expected to announce new pollution standards for slaughterhouses by September 2025. Nevertheless, critics fear the EPA may opt for weaker standards, favoring industry profits over environmental protection.


  1. Guardian: Tyson Foods Dumps Millions of Pounds of Toxic Pollutant

As EcoServants, we stand against Tyson.

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