Tyson settles with government over fraudulent inspection records
Tyson is a titan of the food industry, pulling in over $40 billion in annual revenue. The Springdale, Arkansas, meatpacker slaughters more chickens and cattle than any other American company, employing 121,000 people at over 120 plants and offices. It’s responsible for 20 percent of all beef, pork and chicken produced in America, including McDonald’s chicken nuggets and Walmart’s ground beef, according to the Wall Street Journal. (Pork isn’t its main business.)
In May, the company sued the United States, claiming that a USDA veterinarian, Yolanda Thompson, had signed inspection certificates for 4,622 slaughtered hogs at its Storm Lake, Iowa, plant on March 26, 2018. The company claimed that video footage showed Thompson hadn’t entered the plant that day, and in fact, signed those forms in her car.
By the time plant officials found out, it was too late to remove the pigs from production. Unable to separate them, the company said it was forced to destroy around 8,000 hog carcasses. In its complaint, it sought over $2.48 million in damages, including $1.85 million for destroyed carcasses, and $315,000 in cancelled sales.