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Smithfield Foods’ Hogwash Exposed: Part II

The UNC School of Public Health conducted two studies looking at the health effects on communities neighboring industrial hog facilities.

The first study, Race, Poverty, and Hog Facilities in North Carolina reports that

Low-income schools in communities of mostly people of color had industrial hog facilities within 3 miles more often than schools in mostly white and high-income communities. As distance from the nearest hog facility increased, so did white enrollment and income level of the school.

The second study, Adolescent Asthma Symptoms and Industrial Hog Facilities found a large number of students at schools near hog facilities suffered breathing problems.

At schools near hog facilities:

  • 7% more students reported that a doctor told them they had asthma
  • 7% more students used asthma medication
  • 6% more students visited doctors or emergency rooms or were hospitalized for asthma

Technology exists to reduce the impact of hog pollution. North Carolinians do not need to suffer harmful health effects from exposure to hog facility pollution. The House and Senate have recommended legislation that would prohibit open hog lagoons and provide assistance to farmers in the form of grants to help them upgrade their waste systems but Smithfield Foods is blocking this legislation that would put clean technologies on hog farms in NC. Shame on Smithfield Foods for putting corporate profits ahead of community health. 

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