Perdue Pollution Trial Begins

This week, poultry giant Perdue and a Maryland factory chicken farm face charges for violating the federal Clean Water Act due to alleged manure runoffs at their plant polluting a nearby stream that flows into the Chesapeake Bay. Water samples collected near Hudson Farm, which supplies Perdue and confines about 80,000 birds at any given time, revealed harmful levels of E. coli and fecal coliform that exceed state limits. Environmental organization Waterkeeper Alliance, which works to protect the Chesapeake Bay from pollution, brought the civil case.

This case is seen as potentially precedent-setting, as it could spur an onslaught of civil lawsuits against other factory farms in the region for engaging in similar environmental offenses. In turn this could have grave implications for other large corporations like Perdue regarding accountability and the illegal acts of their food suppliers.

Local Maryland environmental organization Assateague Coastal Trust stated, "Perdue has a responsibility for pollution coming from the farms of its contract growers. Perdue, like most large poultry companies, controls nearly every aspect of the business when growing a bird, but leaves the work and the risks of managing manure to the farmer."

The case has generated significant media attention from major outlets, including the Baltimore Sun, the Washington Post, and DC-area ABC and Fox affiliates, raising awareness about the environmental destruction associated with raising huge numbers of animals in densely packed factory farms.

Each of us can help the environment, animals, and our own health every time we sit down to eat. For tips on transitioning toward a healthy, humane, and sustainable vegan diet, visit