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Poultry grower lobby Oklahoma lawmakers

by 5m Editor
1 March 2006, at 12:00am

OKLAHOMA - Embattled poultry growers and producers descended on the state Capitol to lobby lawmakers and urge an end to a federal lawsuit that accuses them of polluting watersheds with chicken litter. A week after losing a legal round in the U.S. Supreme Court, poultry industry officials met Tuesday with lawmakers and treated them to a lunch of chicken, beef and pork products as they spread the message that Oklahoma's lawsuit jeopardizes the future of their industry. "My biggest concern is that the industry is going to be run out of northeast Oklahoma," said Bev Saunders, a Delaware County poultry grower who produces between 500,000 and 600,000 broilers a year in five poultry houses near Colcord for Arkansas-based Peterson Farms. "We have a lot at stake here, a huge amount at stake," Saunders said. "We are small family farmers and we're just trying to feed the world. It's important that we survive. We do not want to rely on foreign markets for our food as we do with energy." State Attorney General Drew Edmondson said the industry has made no overtures to him about resuming failed negotiations to reach an out-of-court solution. "If they were serious about mediating a solution they'd be talking to me and not the press," Edmondson said. Last year, Edmondson sued 14 Arkansas poultry companies - including three run by Tyson Foods Inc., the world's largest meat producer - accusing them of tainting Oklahoma waters with the waste from millions of chickens and turkeys. Source: AP Wire

5m Editor