Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, March 9, 2023

Contact:

Kelsey Hinton, Community Water Center, (765) 729-1674, kelsey.hinton@communitywatercenter.org
Hannah Connor, Center for Biological Diversity, (202) 681-1676, hconnor@biologicaldiversity.org
Nydia Gutiérrez, Earthjustice, (202) 302-7531, ngutierrez@earthjustice.org

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Hear Testimony Friday on Abuses at U.S. Factory Farms

LOS ANGELES— The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will hear testimony on Friday about human rights abuses linked to industrial meat, egg and dairy facilities in the United States. The testimony is part of the commission's multi-day period of sessions focused on “Reimagining Rights in the Americas.”

Kyle Jones with the Community Water Center will testify on behalf of a broad coalition of human rights and conservation groups working to curb abuses from these industrial facilities, also known as concentrated animal feeding operations. Jones will focus on the massive harms that CAFOs in the United States cause to workers and neighbors, including disproportionate numbers of people living in Indigenous communities, communities of color and low-income communities.

His remarks will also address the extent to which state governments and the federal government in the United States have failed to address — and have facilitated — these injustices.

“In Tulare County, there are more cows than people, and these large-scale operations continue to make water coming from the tap dangerous to human health. Enough is enough. We can’t allow the loosely regulated CAFO industry to continue to violate human rights. Community health must be protected and prioritized over industry profit,” said Kyle Jones, Policy & Legal Director with the Community Water Center.

Copies of the prepared remarks are available on request.

What: Hearing with representatives of human rights and conservation groups concerning human rights abuses at industrial animal feeding operations in the United States.

When: 12:15 p.m. PST, Friday, March 10.

Where: UCLA Meyer & Renee Luskin Conference Center, 425 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

Who: Representatives from Community Water Center, Center for Biological Diversity and Earthjustice on behalf of human rights, community and conservation advocates.

Background

The expansion of CAFOs, commonly known as factory farms, has caused a range of human rights abuses in the United States and across the American continents. Those abuses include human health harms and drinking-water contamination.

A new report, titled Disparities of Industrial Animal Operations in California, Iowa, and North Carolina, details the disproportionate harm CAFOs cause to Indigenous communities, communities of color and low-income communities in those states.

In light of these serious and disproportionate harms, in December 2022, Indigenous, human rights, conservation and public health groups from across North and South America requested that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hold a full thematic hearing on human rights abuses caused by industrial meat, egg and dairy facilities across the American continents. The petitioning groups include 20 organizations from Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador and the United States. The request is also supported by 243 other organizations.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is a quasi‐judicial body that promotes and protects human rights as part of the Inter‐American Human Rights System. The regional system was created to monitor and ensure the protection of human rights within the 35 member states of the Organization of American States, including Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador and the United States.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Community Water Center (CWC) works to ensure that all communities have reliable access to safe, clean, and affordable water. Founded in 2006, CWC is a not-for-profit environmental justice organization, whose mission is to act as a catalyst for community-driven water solutions through education, organizing, and advocacy.

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

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