October 15, 2003

 

 

US' Indiana Pork Producers Trigger Off High Pollution, Told to Cease Operations

 

In the United States, Indiana pork producers are organizing to defend themselves against the picture Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Waterkeeper Alliance are trying to paint of their environmental practices. Scheduled on October 18, Kennedy will present his speech in Indianapolis, Indiana. Trent Loos, founder of Faces of Agriculture, is urging producers, allied industry representatives and university staff to attend Kennedy's presentation to "help him get his facts straight."

Kennedy and the Waterkeeper Alliance have a goal of stopping non-point source pollution, which they say is the single largest source of pollution in America. Since 1999 the group organised a campaign to stop industrial hog farming practices, equating all confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) with factory farming. They partner with family farm advocates, environmental groups, animal welfare advocates and private citizens

According to Loos, Kennedy has stated producers in Indiana are "operating illegally in the state."


Indiana, notably, was until recently home to the 35,000-hog Pohlmann Hog Farms, owned by notorious polluter Klaus Pohlmann.

 

It was the largest swine confinement complex in the state.

 

After years of environmental violations, Pohlmann agreed to a settlement last month, which demanded him to cease pork operations in the state. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management says Pohlmann Farms improperly released large quantities of hog manure into Little Sugar Creek 9 times since November 1989.

"IDEM has been working for years under our administrative process to force Mr. Pohlmann to manage his property well, as most Indiana farmers do," agency Commissioner Lori Kaplan said in a written statement when the settlement was announced.

Faces of Agriculture bills itself as a grassroots organization whose mission is to return the human element to food production and make consumers aware their food is produced by real farmers and not factories.

"The anti-agricultural activists are not going to back down until we stand up to them with the facts about our industry," says Loos.

"Consumers need to know that we are hard at work producing the safest, healthiest food that has ever been available. If people have questions about food production, they should seek answers from farmers and not from lawyers who want to support their own personal agendas."

Kennedy's public speech will take place Saturday, October 18th, 2003 at 4pm at the Park Tudor School - Ayres Auditorium 7200 N. College Ave, Indianapolis.