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Pew Commission Says Industrial Scale Farm Animal Production Poses 'Unacceptable' Risks to Public Health, Environment
Date:4/29/2008

shed their once autonomous, animal husbandry decision-making authority in exchange for contracts that provide assured payment, but require substantial capital investment. Once the commitment is made to such capital investment, many farmers have no choice but to continue to produce until the loan is paid off. Such contracts make it nearly impossible for there to be open and competitive markets for most hog and poultry producers, who must enter into contracts with the integrators (meat packing companies) if they are to sell their production.

Although the proponents of the industrialization of animal agriculture point to the increased economic efficiency of IFAP operations, the Commission is concerned that the benefits may not accrue in the same way to affected rural communities. In fact, industrialization leading to corporate ownership actually draws investment and wealth from the communities in which specific IFAP facilities are located.

The Commission's recommendations focus on appropriate siting of IFAP facilities in order to prevent further degradation of air, water, and soils and to minimize the impact on adjacent communities.

Below are the Commission's key recommendations.

1. Ban the non-therapeutic use of antimicrobials in food animal production

to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance to medically important

antibiotics and other microbials.

2. Implement a disease monitoring program for food animals to allow 48-hour

trace-back of those animals through aspects of their production, in a

fully integrated and robust national database.

3. Treat IFAP as an industrial operation and implement a new system to deal

with farm waste to replace the inflexible and broken system that exists

today, to protect Americans from the adverse environmental and human

health hazards of improperly handled IFAP waste.

4. Phase out the most intensive and inhuma
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SOURCE Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production
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