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The smell of money: Jim Crow lingers in factory farming

June 11, 2018

The Herald Sun,

Gene Baur,

May 30, 2018-

Factory farming in North Carolina recently took a hit in a federal nuisance lawsuit when a jury awarded plaintiffs more than $50 million in damages in their case against Smithfield. As we’d expected, the agribusiness giant is appealing, and a judge has reduced the jury’s penalty by over 90 percent to just around $3 million. Despite the setback, residents of rural North Carolina remain determined to stand up to the world’s largest pork producer, and challenge a cruel and corrupt system.

For decades, North Carolinians have suffered the influx of industrialized animal agriculture and the putrid waste it generates. Neighbors find themselves trapped within their own homes to avoid the flies and noxious gases from confined animal feeding operations where animals are packed by the thousands in miserable conditions, and excrement is produced by the tons, then stored in massive cesspools and sprayed over the land and into the air. Agribusiness flippantly refers to the foul odors emanating from factory farms as the smell of money, but that sickening stench is contributing to…

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