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A River of Waste: The Hazardous Truth About Factory Farms (2009)

Don McCorkell , Drew Edmonson , Don McCorkell  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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A River of Waste: The Hazardous Truth About Factory Farms + Meat the Truth + Death on a Factory Farm
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Product Details

  • Actors: Don McCorkell, Drew Edmonson, Paul Shapiro, Dr. Robert Lawrence, Dr. Joanne Burkholder
  • Directors: Don McCorkell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Cinema Libre
  • DVD Release Date: July 14, 2009
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002CA68GG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,613 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A heart-stopping new documentary, A RIVER OF WASTE exposes a huge health and environmental scandal in our modern industrial system of meat and poultry production. Some scientists have gone so far as to call the condemned current factory farm practices as mini Chernobyls. In the U.S and elsewhere, the meat and poultry industry is dominated by dangerous uses of arsenic, antibiotics, growth hormones and by the dumping of massive amounts of sewage in fragile waterways and environments.  The film documents the vast catastrophic impact on the environment and public health as well as focuses on the individual lives damaged and destroyed.

About the Director

Don McCorkell has launched his fourth career as a documentary filmmaker, having previous successful careers in business, politics and law. He is the President of Tumbleweed Arts, LLC, Sequoyah Capital and Development, LLC and McCorkell Investment Company. Prior to his work as a filmmaker, McCorkell was a principal partner in the development of two major electric power plants in Oklahoma, one in Kiowa, which was the largest private development project in Oklahoma and another in Jenks, Oklahoma. A former senior member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, McCorkell earned a reputation as an innovative reform legislator during his eighteen years of service. McCorkell who earned a BA in political science from the University of Tulsa in 1969 received his J.D., also from TU in December 1973. He is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional and as a Mediator. He has been a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association since April 1974. McCorkell led the effort to design Oklahoma's Economic Development strategy in his position as Chairman of the House Economic Development Committee. He authored the Bond Oversight Act and served as chairman of Oklahoma's Bond Oversight Commission for ten years. He authored the innovative Quality Jobs Act as well as the Economic Development Act, which created the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST), Oklahoma Futures, the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority and the Oklahoma Capital Investment Board (OCIB), which established a venture capital industry in the state. He was the principal author of a wide variety of major pieces of legislation including the Workers Compensation Reform Act which brought managed care to the Oklahoma Workers Compensation System and enacted several other reforms that have resulted in significant cost savings to companies in the state. McCorkell earned a reputation as a major advocate of education reform, sponsoring legislation providing for education deregulation and reform of teacher education and licensure. He also led efforts in nursing home reform, guardianship reform, and major legislation restructuring of the state's services for children as well as being the author of major ethics legislation, and environmental legislation. He served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1978-1996. In the past, he has served as chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee, the Constitutional Revision and Regulatory Services Committee, The Juvenile Justice and Domestic Relations Committee, the Special Committee on Aging and the Special Committee on Capital Improvements. And if that isn't enough, he served on such community boards as the Tulsa County Mental Health Association and Youth Services of Tulsa as well as on the Coalition for Community Development and on the Greater Tulsa Council, which he chaired from 1973-1974.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All in the name of Economic Development July 17, 2009
"Whiskey is for Drinkin'
Water is for Fightin'"
-Mark Twain

Water, or more precisely the lack thereof, is increasingly gaining the attention of the world's political leaders, policy planners, scholars and press. Indeed, many experts believe the situation is so acute it has moved from one of concern to that of crisis and that such scarcity will be the catalyst for World War III.

In the U.S. the issue of water scarcity is beginning to be viewed as something other than a local problem readily solved by technology. It is a major issue for communities such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles and in Oklahoma, one time home to the director of this documentary, numerous communities are facing water shortages and the state is conducting a long term study of the problem. It is also embroiled in a long running legal battle against major, nationally recognized employers, primarily in the poultry industry. The issue is the contamination of lakes, streams, and rivers primarily in the eastern part of the state and the ill effects it is having not only on the surface water so vital to the state but also the adverse impact it is having on human health. The run off from poultry factory farms in the form of animal waste and fertilizers is a public health issue as well as a depletion of what the world is now recognizing as a finite resource, clean water.

This film is a must have for anyone remotely interested in or concerned about the impact poultry factory farms is having on not only Oklahoma's water sources and human health but world wide.The director traveled throughout the world interviewing scientific experts, politicians, and concerned citizens in an effort to see how the problem had been dealt with in other venues and what could be done in the U.S.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Powerful and strong ! A must watch! Shows how Tyson and other companies are contaminating air, water and land by producing harmful products. Effectively, Tyson has conducted scare tactics and threatened academia, controlled political powers to ensure that their profits are not hurt, but the rest of flora, fauna and people are.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Animal Feces are in the Water! July 14, 2009
This documentary presents interviews of regular citizens, politicians and scientific experts on human health, animal welfare, animal waste and water pollution to demonstrate how the meat produciton practices of factory farms in the United States results in the pollution of surface waters. The film is information-filled and would be of interest to persons concerned with sustainable agriculure or environmental protection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CAFOs... February 20, 2012
Mad Cow Disease apparently still exists in US but not anywhere else. To understand all the elements involved in Big Poultry Factory Farming, Concentrated-animal-feeding operations, or CAFOs this documentary does a good job in breaking down, analyzing and explaining each issue including Mad Cow Disease, Bird Flu...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Health of Our Nation February 5, 2012
Verified Purchase
This documentary exposes the dirty secret of factory farming. Factory farming without regulations is an environmental nightmare. It's not gotten the exposure that MTR has gotten. It's hard to hide a mountain whose top has been blown off but 30,000 birds in a huge nondescript aluminum building and a tractor spreading 'waste' across the land is easily missed. Back in 1995, one of the worst environmental disasters in our nation occurred when an 8 acre hog-waste lagoon in North Carolina broke and spilled 25 million tons of manure into the New River-ttwice the size of Exxon-Valdez! It was the worst environmental disaster until the BP spill.

These farms are threatening our health in other ways too. We are becoming antibiotic resistant and most of the blame has been placed on the medical community with little or no responsibility being put on the meat industry. The FACT is 70% of our antibiotics are being used on animals not humans! Because of antibiotic resistance, doctors are being forced to prescribe stronger antibiotics with dangerous side effects. This is only one way that factory farming is dangerous to our health.

The bottom line is vote with your fork. Vote at the ballot box. Educate others. Buy this video.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Important topic, but bland presentation October 21, 2014
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I purchased this DVD because I am interested in environmental issues, and I thought this might be a good topic (and film) to present to college students for discussion.

It's really a "talking heads" film, where experts or victims discuss various issues, from the use (certainly overuse) of antibiotics in confined livestock operations, to issues regarding dust and odors, animal welfare, heavy metals, ammonia (an issue where I live), and other significant topics.

This DVD failed to meet my expectations in 3 areas:

1. The power of visual representation. As a film, there was way too much "footage" giving to listening to people talk, and not near enough time given to visual depictions of livestock and livestock waste. I recognize that producers don't encourage filmmakers to come and film their operations (in some states, this is now illegal), but the final format of "A River of Waste: The Hazardous Truth About Factory Farms" was, well, boring. It's an important topic. Make it seem important! I've watched many farming-related films, and this one will put students to sleep.

2. The German-US livestock production system comparison was weak. Are there NO high quality livestock production operations in the US to compare with the low quality (aka dangerous) operations?

3. Most examples dealt with chicken production, but I had assumed it would cover a broader range of animal production systems (there is a pig on the cover of the DVD). I guess I would have rather had cattle, pigs, and chickens (and eggs) discussed in equal parts throughout, or have the DVD focus exclusively on one.

I probably won't be using this in the classroom. Shame. As I said, it is an important topic for discussion.
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