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Processed food industry

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on global corporations.

The Processed Food industry is "the transformation of livestock and agricultural products into products for intermediate or final consumption." [1]

In 2004, Reuters reported that food processing was one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the United States; accounting for approximately 10% of all manufacturing shipments by value). Between 1998 and 2004, the industry grew by over 10% to a approximately $470 billion dollars a year. The largest sectors of the industry, in terms of value are the meat & dairy industry, seafood, fruit & vegetable preservation and specialty foods. Other niche sectors include bakeries, tortilla manufacturing, grain and oilseed milling, sugar, confection and pet food.

General food related issues

Food Additives & adulteration

Today, over 6,000 synthetic chemicals are officially condoned for use in the processed-food industry. These include some that are known carcinogens. Processed foods contain high levels of the debilitating, denatured ingredients such as white sugar, refined starch, pasteurized cow's milk, land mined salt and hydrogenated vegetable oils. The human immune system correctly recognizes chemical food additives as toxic foreign agents and attempts to rid the body of them; thus causing severe biochemical reactions and stress on the immune system.

After years of daily exposure to inorganic chemicals, the immune system breaks down and burns out, leaving the body vulnerable to microbes, toxins and cancerous cells. The food industry has duped the public and government health agencies into believing that their products are safe for human consumption; even in the face of abundant scientific evidence to the contrary. In fact, such information is in the public domain and openly available to anyone who seeks it.[2]

Aspartame

In March of 2000, Monsanto merged with two other companies to form the Pharmacia Corporation. The NutraSweet Company was divided and sold and the company's tabletop sweetener division, (Equal and Canderel brands), was purchased by Tabletop Holdings; an investment group comprised of Pegasus Capital Advisors, computer mogul Michael Dell's MSD Capital and Brener International.

On March 20, 2000, the new company was formally launched under the name Merisant. In August of 2006, the product was "owned by four companies", Ajinomoto , "Merisant (a bunch of Monsanto managers)"; J.W. Childs Associates, L.P. of Boston and MSD Captial. [3] See also Aspartame.

Genetically-engineered (GM) Foods

See also biotechnology.

Pet food contamination & recall

See also Pet food contamination and recall.

Processed Food Packaging

Teepak is cellulose and fibrous casings for the processing and packaging of frankfurters, dry and semi-dry sausages, smoked meats, sausages, deli meats, poultry and dairy products.[4]

Funding studies

According to researchers:

"If a beverage manufacturer or industry group funded the research, the finding may be biased. Before you take to heart any research about the health effects of beverages such as milk, fruit juice or soft drinks, find out who paid for the study.[5]

Animal testing

See also animal testing, section 3 on product (toxicity) testing.

Splenda: Sadistically Sweet

See also Splenda: Sadistically Sweet.

Iams investigations (US & UK)

See also Proctor & Gamble.

Top meat, egg & dairy companies & purchasers

CAFO's, food safety and Salmonella: HSUS Iowa investigation. - 2010

Tyson Foods became the world's largest poultry and red meat provider after buying Iowa Beef Processors, Inc. (IBP) in 2001. [6] Tyson controls 27% of all meat and poultry sales in the U.S. One out of every four pounds of chicken, beef and pork consumed in the U.S. is a Tyson product. [7] Smithfield Foods is the world's largest pork producer. Smithfield is the largest pig farming operation in the U.S. and a major producer abroad. Smithfield controls 26% of the U.S. pork market, raising 14 million pigs at it's facilities and killing 27 million of the 60 million that went to slaughter in 2006. [8] Cargill is the second largest meat processing company in the U.S., after Tyson Foods. It is the second largest supplier of animal feed in the world. [9]

Willmar Poultry Company is the largest turkey producer in the U.S. It produces over 45 million turkey poults (young birds) annually at its two hatcheries in Minnesota. The Willmar hatchery is the largest turkey hatchery in the industry and delivers over 600,000 poults weekly to customers. [10] Cal-Maine Foods is the largest egg producer in the U.S. In fiscal 2009, Cal-Maine sold approximately 778 million dozen shell eggs, representing approximately 18% of domestic shell egg consumption. The company's approximately 27 million laying hens and 6 million pullets and breeders is the largest concentration of chickens in the U.S.[11]

Nestle is the world's leading producer of dairy products.[12] Dean Foods is the leading producer of fluid milk and dairy products in the United States and the second largest dairy company in the world. Dean Foods is second only to Nestle in terms of global dairy sales. [13]

McDonalds is largest purchaser of beef and the second largest purchaser of poultry in the U.S. [14]

Organizations that support CAFOs

Organizations that support Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO)s include member organizations of the Animal Industry Foundation; the American Veal Association, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Milk Producers Council, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, United Egg Producers, U.S. Poultry and Egg Association and the American Feed Industry Association. [15] Also member organizations of the American Meat Institute, the Meat Promotion Coalition, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Dairy Council. Other industry-funded organizations which support CAFO's include the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) and the Animal Welfare Council (AWC).

CAFO's & health issues

See also meat & dairy industry, sections 4 & 5.

Animal products & health issues

See also animal products & health issues.

CAFOs & animal welfare issues

See also animals raised & hunted for food.

Articles & sources

SourceWatch articles

Case studies

Processed food suppliers

Regulatory Agencies

Contract Research Organizations (animal testing)

Industry Associations

Front Groups & industry-funded organizations

References

  1. Regional Industry Cluster Overview: Processed Food, Northwest Iowa Developers Coalition, 2005
  2. Daniel Reid Processed Food, Helping People Survive Online, accessed December 2010
  3. Bans in India of Coke and Pepsi due to pesticide and aspartame ingredients, Indybay, August 2006
  4. About ViskoTeepak, ViskoTeepak, accessed December 2010
  5. Kathleen Doheny On Nutritious Drink Studies, Consider the Funding Source If industry pays for the research, bias may result, study suggests, Health Day News, December 2007
  6. Donald John Tyson, Forbes, 400 Richest Americans, accessed February 2009
  7. Tyson Foods: Overview, United Food & Commercial Workers Union, accessed May 2009
  8. Merritt Clifton Smithfield & Maple Leaf Farms will phase out gestation crates, Animal People News, March 2007
  9. Steve Hannaford Oligopoly Brief: Cargill, Oligopoly Watch, updated September 2007
  10. Welcome to Willmar Poultry, Willmar Poultry Company, accessed December 2010
  11. About Cal-Maine Foods, Cal-Main Foods, accessed December 2010
  12. Nestlé SA, Company analytics, 2009
  13. Know Your Dairy Giants: Dean Foods, Family Farm Defenders, March 2005
  14. John Robbins Old McDonald Had a Factory: Did Somebody Say McLibel?, Celsias.com, October 2007
  15. John Robbins Old McDonald had a Factory, Celsias.com, accessed February 2009

External articles

E. coli bacteria

Food Additives & adulteration

Soft Drinks

External resources

Industry Publications