Apr 22, 2020 - Economy & Business

Tyson Meats closes Waterloo, Iowa, plant in latest pork shutdown

Meat shelves lay empty at a supermarket in Saugus, Mass. on March 13, 2020. Photo: JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, is suspending operations at its largest pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, the company announced on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The closure "further contributes to the disruption of the nation’s pork supply," per the company. It comes as the meat industry has slowed production, leading to price increases, as plant workers across the country have fallen ill with the coronavirus.

  • Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, also announced three plant closures in recent days, including a pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, S.D. At least 644 coronavirus cases were traced back to that facility.

What they're saying: “Despite our continued efforts to keep our people safe while fulfilling our critical role of feeding American families, the combination of worker absenteeism, COVID-19 cases and community concerns has resulted in our decision to stop production." said Steve Stouffer, group president of Tyson Fresh Meats, in a news release.

  • “The closure has significant ramifications beyond our company, since the plant is part of a larger supply chain that includes hundreds of independent farmers, truckers, distributors and customers, including grocers,” Stouffer said.
  • “It means the loss of a vital market outlet for farmers and further contributes to the disruption of the nation’s pork supply.” 

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Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

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