"Whistle blowers like me will just take these matters to the media and the public when a company like Tyson causes undue and unnecessary harm," says Adams, who also filed suit with the State of Arkansas Unemployment office for wrongful dismissal. "I exposed food safety and USDA violations to Tyson management and within one hour I was wrongfully suspended and within three days was wrongfully terminated."
Adams worked at Tyson since 2008 where he deboned chickens on the processing line."They were washing chickens that had fallen on the floor—they were dead," says Adams. "These chickens were supposed to be condemned by the USDA but instead they were put back on the line for food consumption. Tyson was committing fraud by saying they provide safe food to the public, but they don't."
Adams wrote a press release titled " Tyson foods facing lawsuit for violating federal laws again," and he showed it to a coworker. He claims that Tyson management suspended him with the excuse that he had a cell phone on the job, even though Adams says about 70 percent of employees carry cell phones. "My coworker, the same guy who read the press release, overheard the manager say, ' We have to get rid of this Mother F** ker', and I have affidavits to prove everything.
"Consumers suspect that food companies are unethical and pick food up off the floor to produce profits," says Adams. " It had never been proven and made public until now. It may be a very long time before consumers choose to buy Tyson chicken again."
This isn't the first time Tyson Foods has battled the USDA and other government agencies and it's likely not the last.
Back in 1998, Tyson agreed to pay a fine of $80,000 for "over-applying chicken sludge on its farm near Berlin, Md." It also agreed to pay $15,000 for improperly disposing of dead chickens.
In 2007, the company touted its chicken as "raised without antibiotics" in a massive advertising campaign. But it was later revealed (and Tyson Foods admitted) that it injects its chickens with antibiotics before they hatch, but labels them as raised without antibiotics anyway. In response, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) told Tyson to stop using the antibiotic-free label. In retaliation, the company sued USDA over its right to keep using it.
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Meanwhile Tyson was hit with another suit filed in the same court on behalf of customers accusing Tyson of consumer fraud, breach of express warranty, and unjust enrichment.
"I believe the federal government is getting tired of Tyson Foods doing what it wants to do and have begun to be very harsh against Tyson Foods," adds Adams, thankful the US District Judge granted his petition against Tyson Foods and his lawsuit was filed August 4, 2009.