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&#39;s lawsuit jeopardizes the future of their industry. &quot;My biggest concern is that the industry is going to be run out of northeast Oklahoma,&quot; 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. &quot;We have a lot at stake here, a huge amount at stake,&quot; Saunders said. &quot;We are small family farmers and we&#39;re just trying to feed the world. It&#39;s important that we survive. We do not want to rely on foreign markets for our food as we do with energy.&quot; 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. &quot;If they were serious about mediating a solution they&#39;d be talking to me and not the press,&quot; Edmondson said. Last year, Edmondson sued 14 Arkansas poultry companies - including three run by Tyson Foods Inc., the world&#39;s largest meat producer - accusing them of tainting Oklahoma waters with the waste from millions of chickens and turkeys. <i>Source: AP Wire</i>

5m Editor