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News 899 views update:May 12, 2010

US: Poultry sustainability at work

The US meat and poultry industries are increasingly turning their attention to creating renewable products (such as adhesives and plastics) from the animal by-products that can't be sold in supermarkets.

According to an article published in the USA Today, entitled "Waste Not, Want Not: Companies Find Uses for Leftover Animal Parts", meat processors, including Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms and Maple Leaf Foods, are developing new uses and markets for animal parts that are inedible to humans.

Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were not supportive of these increased sustainability efforts by the meat and poultry industries. Kathy Guillermo, PETA Vice President of laboratory investigations, says, "The last thing we need in this country is another use for the bodies of animals."

Some of the processors and projects mentioned in the article include Tyson Foods, which is also involved in a joint venture with Syntroleum Corp. of Tulsa to build a renewable fuels plant in Baton Rouge. The plant is reportedly expected to be operating in full capacity in July 2010, and will convert beef tallow, pork lard, chicken fat and cooking grease into a synthetic diesel fuel.

Another company mentioned in the article is chicken processor Perdue Farms, which also collects poultry litter, a blend of manure and wood shavings, and converts it into organic fertilizer pellets.

Natalie Berkhout

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