- In his new book, "The Meat Racket," agribusiness journalist Christopher Leonard focuses on Tyson as the controlling center of the American meat industry.
- He focuses on three negative effects of this kind of centralized control, including the fact that animals suffer as a result of manipulations of their breeding to increase their size.
- The book also addresses health concerns surrounding factory hog farming's production of large amounts of waste, and bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics as a result of its regular use in farm animals.
As the review of the book puts it, "we may think of rural America as a halcyon pastoral of red barns and the Waltons, but today it’s also a land of unemployment, poverty, despair and methamphetamines."
President Obama stated a goal to create a "new rural economy" to empower individual farmers in 2010. But Congress threw that out, likely in response to the meat industry's influence. Concern for the treatment of animals in American farms is a particularly serious issue. It has implications for egg farms, dairy farms, as well as the supply of meat and chicken. Increasing regulations is often met with strong opposition, and sometimes the industry wins, as it did in the case of the Gag-Ag bill. Many agree that something should be done about it though, but there are no easy answers.