Group blames Tyson Foods for pollution


DES MOINES – One group is not happy with Tyson Foods, and now they’re calling out the CEO. 

A group called Des Moines Mighty Earth met today to remind Tyson CEO, Tom Hayes, to fulfill his sustainability promise of reducing water pollution. Members are blaming a majority of the pollution in the Des Moines River on large amounts of animal feed that Tyson uses.

“So the waste from that process, livestock rearing, easily gets in our watersheds and that’s a huge concern for us at Des Moines Water Works. As you look at the Des Moines River, you can tell that that water is impacted by a couple very important items,” said Bill Stowe, CEO and general manager at Des Moines Water Works. 

“We really want to continue to make sure that we have a productive agricultural landscape. That’s a big part of our economy, but we need to do that in a way that doesn’t add to the water quality problems, especially nitrate and our drinking waters,” said Susan Heathcote, water program director at the Iowa Environmental Council. 

More than 4,000 people including farmer, community groups and businesses are behind this push for Tyson to live up to its pledge of putting sustainability at the center of the company’s future. The groups are suggesting Tyson use more crops to prevent soil erosion. 

Tyson has released a statement about the group’s message. The company said, “this group is making misleading claims about our company, which is committed to continuous environmental improvement.”

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