Processed food industry
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." 
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.
- 1 General food related issues
- 2 Animal testing
- 3 Top meat, egg & dairy companies & purchasers
- 4 Articles & sources
- 4.1 SourceWatch articles
- 4.2 Case studies
- 4.3 Processed food suppliers
- 4.4 Regulatory Agencies
- 4.5 Contract Research Organizations (animal testing)
- 4.6 Industry Associations
- 4.7 Front Groups & industry-funded organizations
- 4.8 References
- 4.9 External articles
- 4.10 External resources
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.
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.  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.
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.
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
Tyson Foods became the world's largest poultry and red meat provider after buying Iowa Beef Processors, Inc. (IBP) in 2001.  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.  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.  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. 
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.  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.
Nestle is the world's leading producer of dairy products. 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. 
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.  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
- Alternative Medicine
- American Dietetic Association
- Animal testing
- Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement
- Avian flu pandemic
- Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food
- David W.K. Acheson ("Food Safety Czar")
- Deborah Platt Majoras
- David Rockefeller
- Dioxin in US beef
- Food Safety Act of 2007
- Free trade
- Humane Movement
- International Trade Strategies
- Mad cow disease / Mad Cow USA
- Obesity PR
- Organic Consumers Association
- Pharmaceutical industry
- Rockefeller Foundation
- Swine flu
- USDA ORGANIC
- U.S. Government's War on Animals
- War on Cancer
- Weston A. Price Foundation
- Benzene in Soft Drinks
- Goliath and David: Monsanto's Legal battles against farmers
- Isopropyl Alcohol in Soft Drinks
- Monsanto and the Campaign to Undermine Organics
- Splenda: Sadistically Sweet
- Trashing organic foods
Processed food suppliers
- Abbott Laboratories (Similac, Ensure)
- Archer Daniels Midland Company
- Cal-Maine Foods
- Campbell Soup Company
- Cargill Inc.
- Chiquita Brands International, Inc.
- Coca-Cola Co.
- ConAgra Foods, Inc.
- Dean Foods Company
- Del Monte Foods Company
- General Mills, Inc.
- Hershey Company
- H.J. Heinz Company
- Johnson & Johnson (Splenda)
- Kellogg Company
- Land O' Lakes Inc.
- Mars Inc.
- Nestlé S.A.
- PepsiCo Inc. (Quaker Oats)
- Philip Morris (Kraft Foods Inc.)
- Proctor & Gamble (Eukanuba, Iams)
- Sara Lee Corp.
- Schwan Food Company (largest school food service supplier in U.S.)
- Smithfield Foods, Inc.
- Tyson Foods
- Unilever N.V. / Unilever plc
- Ventura Foods, LLC (largest institutional supplier of cooking oils/shortenings in U.S.)
- Willmar Poultry Company
- Food Standards Agency (UK)
- Food Additives and Ingredients Association (UK)
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Contract Research Organizations (animal testing)
- American Frozen Food Institute
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- British Soft Drinks Association
- Food Products Association
- Grocery Manufacturers of America
- Institute of Food Technologists
- International Dairy Foods Association
- Meat Promotion Coalition
- National Cattlemen's Beef Association
- National Milk Producers Association
- National Pork Producers Council
- Pet Food Institute
- The Food Institute
- United States Tuna Foundation
- Agribusiness Freedom Foundation
- Alliance for Better Foods
- American Beverage Association
- American Beverage Institute
- American Farm Bureau Federation
- American Meat Institute
- Animal Welfare Council
- Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness
- Canned Food Alliance
- Center for Consumer Freedom
- Council for Responsible Nutrition
- Food Security Network
- International Food Information Council
- National Animal Interest Alliance
- National Center for Food and Agriculture Policy
- National Dairy Council
- Policy Directions Inc.
- Regional Industry Cluster Overview: Processed Food, Northwest Iowa Developers Coalition, 2005
- Daniel Reid Processed Food, Helping People Survive Online, accessed December 2010
- Bans in India of Coke and Pepsi due to pesticide and aspartame ingredients, Indybay, August 2006
- About ViskoTeepak, ViskoTeepak, accessed December 2010
- 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
- Donald John Tyson, Forbes, 400 Richest Americans, accessed February 2009
- Tyson Foods: Overview, United Food & Commercial Workers Union, accessed May 2009
- Merritt Clifton Smithfield & Maple Leaf Farms will phase out gestation crates, Animal People News, March 2007
- Steve Hannaford Oligopoly Brief: Cargill, Oligopoly Watch, updated September 2007
- Welcome to Willmar Poultry, Willmar Poultry Company, accessed December 2010
- About Cal-Maine Foods, Cal-Main Foods, accessed December 2010
- Nestlé SA, Company analytics, 2009
- Know Your Dairy Giants: Dean Foods, Family Farm Defenders, March 2005
- John Robbins Old McDonald Had a Factory: Did Somebody Say McLibel?, Celsias.com, October 2007
- John Robbins Old McDonald had a Factory, Celsias.com, accessed February 2009
- Fred J. Ruppel, J. Michael Harri "US trade surplus in processed foods expected to continue - includes related article," Food Review, May-August 1996.
- Chris Bolling et al., "U.S. firms invest in Mexico's processed food industry - Statistical Data Included," Food Review, May-August 1999.
- "USDA Creates Trade Advisory Committee. GMA Applauds Addition of New Committee for Processed Foods," Grocery Manufacturers of America, May 20, 2003.
- Michele Simon, "Low carb means high profits for food giants," San Francisco Chronicle, January 23, 2004.
- Caroline E. Mayer, "Putting a Healthy Spin On Processed Foods. Companies Cut Sugar, Add Vitamins," Washington Post, January 10, 2005.
- Michele Simon, "Weak Links in the Food Chain. Why Uncle Sam Won't Tell You What Not to Eat," San Franciso Chronicle, January 15, 2005.
- "Nanotechnology to increase shelf life of processed foods," NANO Techwire.com, May 30, 2005.
- Alex Renton "If MSG is so bad for you, why doesn't everyone in Asia have a headache?" The Observer (UK), July 10, 2005.
- Melanie Warner, "Science's Quest to Banish Fat in Tasty Ways," New York Times, August 11, 2005.
- Unions Petition OSHA To Deal With Slow-Motion Chemical Disaster, Confined Space, July 2006
- ConAgra to drop fake butter flavor one month before EPA study release, Americablog, September 2007.
E. coli bacteria
- Annys Shin, "Outbreaks Reveal Food Safety Net's Holes. Produce Growers Balk At Calls for Regulation," Washington Post, December 11, 2006.
- "Dozens sickened after eating at Taco John's. 14 hospitalized in Iowa with symptoms consistent with E. coli, officials say," Associated Press, MSNBC, December 11, 2006.
- Hillary Profita, "That Salad Will Probably Kill You. The Skinny: Taco Bell E. Coli Outbreak Freaks Out U.S. Vegetable Lovers," CBS News, December 11, 2006.
- Denise Grady, "When Bad Things Come From ‘Good’ Food," New York Times, January 2, 2007.
- Goody L. Solomon, "Hearing Highlights Produce Safety. Creation of Federal Standards Is Seen as Avenue to Improvements," Washington Post, April 25, 2007.
Food Additives & adulteration
- "Sweet deal for Dell," Austin Business Journal, February 11, 2000.
- Betty Martini, "EU Calls For New Investigation Of Aspartame And Stevia," Mission Possible International (naturodoc.com), April 12, 2003.
- "Coke, Pepsi banned in India over harmful levels of aspartame, pesticides and other chemicals," NewsTarget, August 7, 2006.
- "Bans in India of Coke and Pepsi due to pesticide and aspartame ingredients," Indybay, August 10, 2006.
- News Release: "Analysis of preservatives in soft drink beverages," Metrohm UK, September 22, 2003.
- Food Quality News, accessed December 2010
- "Exports: Processed Foods Index Page," International Trade Commission (ITA).
- "The U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement." Report of the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Processed Foods, March 19, 2004.
- "2005 Processed Foods Outlook," U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Health and Consumer Goods.
- Sucralose Toxicity Information Center, Holistic Healing Web Page, accessed January 2011
- Beverage & Food World Journal: A Journal Devoted To The Indian Processed Food Industry, accessed January 2011