Threats from Nervous Hog Farmers

Mark Bittman, whose regular food systems columns in the New York Times are an excellent source of thoughtful commentary on the ills of industrialized agriculture, commented last month on the odd-couple arrangement brokered by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the United Egg Producers (UEP). It’s worth noting that on the same day that the UEP and HSUS announced their partnership, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) issued a nervous response rife with scare tactics.

Here is an excerpt from their July 7 statement: “NPPC is gravely concerned that such a one-size-fits-all approach will take away producers’ freedom to operate in a way that’s best for their animals, make it difficult to respond to consumer demands, raise retail meat prices and take away consumer choice, devastate niche producers and, at a time of constrained budgets for agriculture, redirect valuable resources from enhancing food safety and maintaining the competitiveness of U.S. agriculture to regulating on-farm production practices for reasons other than public health and welfare.” Read More >

Is CAFO Meat Legal?

The New York Times’ Mark Bittman poses the interesting question in yesterday’s column, “Could Industrially Raised Meat Be Illegal?” Bittman pontificates that if the EPA has classified greenhouse gases as a human health hazard “as the EPA has declared, and the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act authorizes strict regulatory action on substances if there’s a reasonable basis to conclude that there’s an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, and industrially raised livestock causes an estimated 18 percent of greenhouse gas, could there be a legal case for tougher regulation of animal production?” Interesting thought.

Mark Bittman Makes Appearance on The Colbert Report

Check out Mark Bittman’s appearance on Tuesday night’s Colbert Report. It’s hilarious! Bittman, who discusses his book, “Food Matters, A Guide to Conscious Eating,” make great points about the connection between diet and climate change. Jokes Colbert: “Are you implying that I’m eating while being unconscious?” Colbert clearly has an interest in environmental issues, hosting a variety of guests over the years to discuss diet, global water shortages, and farming. Incidentally, Comedy Central’s Colbert Report reaches millions of viewers around the world each night!