Jim Hightower's Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Rebranding CAFOs as PFOs Is Corporate BS
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Rebranding CAFOs as PFOs Is Corporate BS

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A decade ago, Oklahoma’s countryside was literally infested with 626 massively-polluting CAFOs – “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.” These are nightmarish creatures of industrial agribusiness, each one caging thousands of chickens, hogs, or cattle in huge concrete and steel buildings, and producing rivers of excrement. Imagine living next to one!

But – hallelujah! – responding to the outrage of rural neighbors, environmentalists, and animal rights advocates, Oklahoma’s political honchos have since stepped in with regulations to eliminate 90 percent of those CAFOs. Wow! How’d they do that?

The old-fashioned way: Political fraud. At the behest of chicken lobbyists for factory farm giants like Tyson Foods, state lawmakers – Hocus-Pocus! – let CAFOs rebrand themselves as PFOs, “Poultry Feeding Operations.” It’s the same old stink by a new name – only worse. The state’s PFO designation let’s corporate profiteers get away with providing fewer protections for Oklahoma communities they subject to the overwhelming stench, contamination, flies, disease, and other nasties inherent in caging more than 300,000 birds at a time in one spot.

For example, merely switching a factory’s registration from a federal CAFO to a state PFO lets these industrial polluters locate right across the road from family homes, bringing such constant odor, debris, and disease that people can’t open their windows or play in their yard. The PFO scheme also eliminates a requirement that neighbors have to be notified when a chicken factory proposes to locate next door, and state officials even outlawed legal protests against their rubber stamping of water permits for these polluters.

This is Jim Hightower saying… Here’s a solution: Require that a PFO chicken factory be installed next door to the Capitol building—share the stink!

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Jim Hightower's Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Author, agitator and activist Jim Hightower spreads the good word of true populism, under the simple notion that "everybody does better, when everybody does better."