Food Project
Published in

Food Project

Standing Up to the Chicken Industry’s Abuse of Contract Farmers

The meat industry flexes its anti-competitive market power in abusive ways. Learn how one Tyson Foods contractor featured in Super Size Me 2 is working with Public Justice to stand up to an unfair system that exploits farmers for profit.

How did you get involved in standing up to Tyson?

“Tyson can’t grow these chickens because they don’t make money doing it. The company knows this. The industry also knows that once a contract farmer’s chicken house goes up, they’re going to grow chickens even as they sink into debt.”

Explain when you realized that the deal was no longer so sweet.

The industry is known for retaliating against its workers when they blow the whistle on what’s really going on. Did you receive retaliation as well when you started digging into this?

How did the case come together?

A core part of the case Public Justice is working on involves antitrust claims. Why do you think antitrust is such an important issue for contract growers?

This case was originally filed as a breach of contract case brought by Whitfield, Bryson and Mason. David Muraskin here at Public Justice heard of the case and wanted to advise on the antitrust theory. What are some ways that Public Justice has helped advance your case?

The release of Super Size Me 2, which featured your story, was delayed thanks to controversy around the director for his confession regarding sexual misconduct and his involvement in a sexual harassment claim that he settled. You must be glad that it’s finally being released.



We’re the only legal project in the U.S. focused solely on dismantling industrial animal ag— particularly, the structures that enable the consolidation of corporate power and extractive systems — and supporting a regenerative, humane food system owned by independent farmers.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Public Justice

A public interest law firm. We protect consumers, employees, civil rights & the environment.