By now, you’ve probably heard about the lawsuit filed by California against the meat and seafood companies who have been accused of illegally dumping billions of pounds of diseased fish onto the ocean.
But if you don’t live in California, you may not have seen the lawsuit in full.
If you’re not familiar with the lawsuit, here are some of the key points: In June, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that he was suing nine food-processing companies for dumping more than $400 million of diseasened fish into the Pacific Ocean in the past year.
That number is expected to grow to more than one billion pounds of seafood, Becerras complaint stated.
The lawsuit has been criticized by many who have expressed concerns about the potential for disease-causing pollution.
According to the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, there have been more than 8,600 confirmed cases of Salmonella, and nearly 8,000 deaths linked to the disease.
Many of those deaths have been linked to contaminated seafood.
“This lawsuit is the culmination of years of work by the state and local partners in California to reduce the number of dead and sick salmon and shrimp caught in the ocean,” Becerreras office said in a statement.
“We are fighting to protect California’s wild salmon and clam fishery from the deadly diseases that are causing the deaths of thousands of our people every year.”
The lawsuits are part of a growing push by state lawmakers to regulate the food industry, which has seen massive shifts in the food supply since the U.S. entered World War II.
According a 2016 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the food and beverage industries account for a $2 trillion annual revenue and employ about 3.5 million people.
The industry is responsible for more than 80% of the U