Pork-producing giant Smithfield Foods was recently fined $50 million for waste mismanagement. A lawsuit initiated by 10 plaintiffs stated that the waste from Murphy Brown LLC—a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods—created a public nuisance where residents in North Carolina could not enjoy the outdoors due to toxic fumes produced by manure from factory farms. The jury trial in the case ruled that each plaintiff should receive $75,000 in damages. “I believe that this case, this judgment in North Carolina, is really going to send a strong message to communities across the country that are threatened by industrial farms that they don’t have to take it,” Kendra Kimbirauskas, CEO of the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, told media outlet New Food Economy. “They don’t have to take being rolled over by the huge industries. It’s definitely going to give folks hope and keep them fighting back.” Smithfield has not released plans to change their waste management systems, nor was one mandated by the lawsuit. Instead, Smithfield has publicly announced their plans to appeal the decision.
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