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Sen. Hawley Presses Tyson Foods on Missouri Plant Closures, Child Labor Accusations

Sept. 21, 2023
The Missouri senator recently introduced legislation to break up the meatpacking “monopolies,” and continued his attacks on the industry this week.

In two separate posts on the social-media platform X, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) stepped up the rhetoric and attacks on the meatpacking industry this week.

In the first announcement, Hawley detailed that he had spoken with Tyson Foods CEO Donnie King about the future of Missouri plants that the company was planning to shut down, saying Tyson was willing to sell the processing facilities in Dexter and Noel, Mo., to any interested buyers, including competitors.

He also said that Tyson was willing to help local chicken farmers continue their businesses and secure new contracts with Tyson or other companies. Hawley concluded saying, “We will hold him to these commitments” in the post.

In a second tweet a few days later, Hawley ripped Tyson Foods for closing the Missouri plants as a reaction to a New York Times story detailing migrant children who allegedly worked illegally for Tyson and Perdue, and penned a letter to King demanding an explanation and answers.

One week ago, Hawley introduced legislation aimed at breaking up the meatpacking companies, whom he views as holding a monopoly on the market.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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