The COVID-19 outbreak at Smithfield Foods’ Milan, Missouri, plant — the focus of a worker safety lawsuit that garnered national attention last year — resulted in two worker deaths and was worse than previously thought, according to newly obtained federal documents.

Early on in the pandemic, the Sullivan County Health…


Illinois billionaire Shahid Khan is known for building the automotive parts company Flex ‘N Gate, based in Urbana, IL, into a global manufacturer with 69 facilities around the world.

He also is known as the owner of the National Football League team Jacksonville Jaguars and the UK’s Fulham F.C. …


Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, said this week it will consider whether to continue selling Seresto flea-and-tick collars after media reports that they have been linked to more than 75,000 pet injuries and almost 1,700 pet deaths.

The announcement came after the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and USA…


Rhonda Bomwell had never used a flea and tick collar before. Pierre, her 9-year-old Papillon service dog, was mostly an indoor animal.

Still, her veterinarian recommended she purchase one, so Bomwell went to the pet store near her home in Somerset, New Jersey, and selected Bayer’s Seresto collar.

A day…


Despite Centers for Disease Control recommendations, a few states with large farmworker populations have not prioritized COVID-19 vaccinations for farmworkers.

Because farmworkers risk COVID-19 exposure in the course of their jobs, the CDC proposed that they should be near the front of the vaccination line. …


When COVID-19 first hit, Illinois farmers Adrienne and Drew DeSutter weren’t sure how the pandemic would affect their lives. Farmers already deal with a lot of uncertainty and lead isolated lives, they said.

But the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated farmers’ feelings of isolation, according to a recent survey from the…


Ten months after the start of the pandemic, it was a familiar refrain for the Rochelle Foods plant in northern Illinois: An infected worker allegedly told a plant manager in mid-January that he was feeling better, 10 days after his positive test. …


By Derek Kravitz, Brown Institute for Media Innovation; Georgia Gee, Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, Columbia Journalism School; Madison McVan, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting; and Ignacio Calderon, USA TODAY Network Agriculture Data Fellow

On May 1, after testing found at least 123 COVID-19 cases out of 900 workers at the Rochelle Foods plant in northern Illinois, Kyle Auman, the Ogle County Health Department director, was summoned to a conference call.

On the emailed invite: six Trump administration political appointees at the U.S. Department…


By Kyle Bagenstose and Rachel Axon, USA TODAY; Sky Chadde, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

Normally, a workplace death in the United States is met with a swift and thorough response.

By law, employers must report a death within eight hours to the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration. An…


By Dave Dickey, Commentator, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

OK…it’s once again time for your audacious commentator to give his hot takes on the agriculture stories that will make news in 2021. This year I’ve enlisted the help of Homer Simpson who truly knows something about predicting agricultural events before…

Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

www.investigatemidwest.org is a nonprofit, online newsroom offering investigative and enterprise coverage of agribusiness and Big Ag.

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