Taking the Meat We Eat Out of the Factory and Putting It Back on the Farm

awaOn Tuesday, Animal Welfare Approved and the Pew Environment Group presented a public panel discussion about raising pasture-based animals, and reclaiming these sustainable farming systems as the source of our meat and dairy.  The star-studded panel included Nicolette Hahn Niman, attorney and author of Righteous Porkchop, Carole Morison, former Purdue chicken farmer turned whistleblower and sustainable farming consultant, David Kirby, investigative journalist and author of Animal Factory and Dr. Patricia Whisnant, vet, rancher and president of the American Grassfed Association. As farmers, Carole Morison and Dr. Whisnant have had personal experiences with the industrial animal agriculture system currently producing most of the meat in our country today, and have chosen another path. Nicolette’s husband Bill Niman founded Niman Ranch, which he has since left as he felt that the standards declined to a point he couldn’t live with, after a management change in 2006. They continue to raise beef on pasture but sell under a private label. Kirby has turned his investigative skills on factory farming – the way we raise most of our meat today – and what he found out has spurred him to let out a battle cry to put an end to these factories that call themselves farms. Read More >

Pew to Brief Congress of CAFO Impacts on Workers, Communities

picture-3On the heels of CLF’s Congressional Briefing Dec. 2, the Pew Environmental Group will be holding a Capitol Hill briefing tomorrow to discuss the impact on workers and communities of CAFO’s. The briefing, Industrial Animal Farms and Worker Health and Safety, is being held in collaboration with Rep. Raúl Grijalva, Co-Chair, Congressional Progressive Caucus. It is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 17, from 10 – 11:30 am at the US Capitol, Room HC-8. Please RSVP to Shannon Heyck-Williams if you plan to attend.

In the Dec. 2 briefing, leading experts in economics, public health and public policy and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), a leading voice on antibiotic resistance, discussed the impact of resistant infections on the U.S. healthcare system and the need to phase out inappropriate use of antibiotics as growth promoters in the production of food animals. The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) hosted the event with Rep. Slaughter.

The economic burden of antibiotic resistance on the American healthcare system is measurable and staggering. In 2008, the Institute of Medicine reported that antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA, cost the U.S. $4-5 billion a year. Accordingly, the CDC estimates that 2 million Americans contract resistant infections and out of those, 90,000 die. A full recap of that briefing can be found here.