In poultry litter fight, Perdue is the 1 percent

There is no doubt who actually represents the 1 percent in the case Farrell Keough describes in his recent letter to the editor ("UMD law clinic sues on behalf of the 1 percent," Dec. 30).

With more than $4.5 billion in revenue, Perdue Farms is one of the largest chicken and turkey producers in the world, processing and packing more than 3 billion pounds of poultry a year thanks to some 2,200 contracted poultry producers in about 15 states.


Despite the benefit of these immense revenues, Perdue claims it bears no responsibility for the waste produced by the chickens it sells; instead, it takes the chickens, makes a profit, and tries to leave the growers with the mess.

The Waterkeeper Alliance, a nonprofit group that provides support to 196 local grassroots member organizations around the world, is acting on behalf of the 99 percent. Recognizing that government agencies cannot do everything, the Clean Water Act permits groups of citizens to fight to protect these resources we all share in common.


Waterkeeper and its local affiliates, including the Assateague Coastal Trust, are just such groups of citizens, with over 5,000 Maryland members. Our Maryland members count on us to work to protect the Chesapeake Bay, its vital tributaries, and the Maryland Coastal Bays.

Perdue and its grower are polluting the bay. Like other industries in Maryland, they need to be held accountable for the waste they produce.

Kathy Phillips, Berlin, and Marc Yaggi, New York, N.Y.

The writers are, respectively, executive director of the Assateague Coastal Trust and executive director of Waterkeeper Alliance.