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Concerned about pork production facts

To the editor:

On the back page of the sports section on Oct. 27, you declared October Pork Month. I’d like to update the pork industry facts. As of August 2017, in a report to the EPA, the DNR reported 10,289 CAFOs with 300 under construction. The DNR also reported another 3,797 unknown CAFOs were discovered by aerial survey, bringing the total to 14,386. The 2017 total is 2.3 times the 2012 total of 6,266 and 2017 is almost three years ago.

I agree Iowa is #1 in the pork production, which also makes it #1 in the nation for feces generated. Iowa has 3.2 million humans, but with agricultural operations, Iowa is left with waste equivalent to 168 million people. This volume of manure would fill the Principal Building in Des Moines 2.3 times every day.

They say they’re producing safe food, yet the National Pork Council applauds the USDA for a new rule that allows meatpackers to remove speed limits on production lines and places more animal inspections and food safety tasks with company employees. Doesn’t that put the fox in the henhouse? The Pork Producers say they’re safeguarding natural resources and public health, yet skip all the criteria on the master matrix that protects people and the environment. If they didn’t skip them their score would be closer to 600 than the 450 they always get.

Dave Haynes

Duncombe