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ALDF Demands SEC Hold Tyson Foods Accountable

In a September 19, 2016 complaint from the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) to the Security and Exchanges Commission (SEC), ALDF staff attorney Kelsey Eberly requests “an investigation and enforcement action against Tyson Foods, Inc. (Tyson), due to its distribution of false and misleading statements in violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78a, et seq., (Exchange Act) and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 10b-15, 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5.” The ALDF called upon the SEC to take immediate action against Tyson Foods.

The ALDF writes that, “Although Tyson attempts to portray itself as a company prioritizing responsible farm animal care and worker safety, the company’s practices reveal a drastically different reality. Specifically, an ALDF investigation of Tyson’s Carthage, Texas processing plant illustrates the disconnect between how Tyson tells consumers and investors it conducts its business, and how it actually operates. As investors place greater weight on issues of corporate social responsibility (CSR) due to the impacts these issues have on consumers, and thus stock price, companies must be held accountable when they deliberately deceive investors through false and misleading statements.”

Despite the ALDF informing the SEC of these specific violations one year ago, the SEC still has not taken action against Tyson for their false and misleading public statements “despite ALDF having presented substantial evidence rebutting the contentions Tyson has made to the public regarding its prioritization of animal and worker welfare, and despite the company continuing to violate animal cruelty and workplace safety laws, as documented in several recent high-profile exposés and investigations.”

In the complaint, ALDF concludes that the SEC does not take its responsibility to protect consumers from corporate misinformation seriously and that Tyson is above the law. ALDF further reminds the SEC of its responsibilities. Specifically, the ALDF explains that “the SEC has the authority and responsibility to halt Tyson’s unlawful practices, Tyson continues to assert it stands for animal welfare and worker safety, classifying itself as a leader on CSR issues, Tyson’s public statements on animal well-being and worker safety are materially and demonstrably false, and without SEC intervention, Tyson’s disregard for federal securities law will continue.”

The ALDF has been strategic and courageous in its ongoing and relentless efforts to hold Tyson Foods responsible by demanding various government agencies, including the SEC, OSHA, and the USDA, take action as prescribed by law. It’s vitally important that we support the ALDF’s efforts by exercising our constitutional right to hold our government officials responsible. To that end, please email your support of ALDF’s request of the SEC to chairmanoffice@sec.gov. You can write an original email or copy and paste the sample letter below.

Dear Chairman White,

Please support the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s request for the SEC to hold Tyson Foods accountable for its distribution of false and misleading statements in violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78a, et seq., (Exchange Act) and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 10b-15, 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5.

A 2015 ALDF investigation of Tyson’s Carthage, Texas processing plant illustrates the disconnect between how Tyson tells consumers and investors it conducts its business, and how it actually operates. As investors place greater weight on issues of corporate social responsibility (CSR) due to the impacts these issues have on consumers, and thus stock price, companies must be held accountable when they deliberately deceive investors through false and misleading statements.

Please enforce the SEC laws and hold Tyson Foods accountable. Thank you.

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