We wrote the other week that the coronavirus epidemic is wreaking havoc on the meat industry forcing farmers to euthanize animals. This coupled with new research showing that the next global public health crisis could come to us through industrial animal agriculture has made it clear that we need to rethink large-scale animal farming. As […]Continue Reading 508 words
Tens of thousands of pigs, chickens, and cattle are stuck on large livestock farms due to processing plant closures because of COVID outbreaks among plant workers. Consequently, the President yesterday ordered the plants to remain open despite the fact that thousands of workers have tested positive or have been exposed to the virus and the plants have not taken the necessary precautions to protect them from contracting the virus.
Why This Matters: The President’s order cannot change the course of the virus nor will it solve the problems caused by giant industrial hog and chicken farms, and unsafe slaughterhouses that the virus is exposing.Continue Reading 573 words
- Food and Drug Administration
- high risk
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has spent the better part of the last two days trying to reassure the public that food safety is not at risk during the shutdown. Yesterday and into today, through a series of tweets, Dr. Gottlieb explained (1) that routine food safety inspections are not taking place now; (2) that he is trying to get them re-started by next week – though he is not sure how to do it because FDA guidance requires routine inspections to cease when there is no funding; and that (3) high-risk food safety inspections are continuing. The key fact that most people don’t know is that there are very few food safety inspections in the U.S, which Politico’s Helena Bottemiller Evich pointed out in a story and in a devastating series of tweets.
Why This Matters: The good news is that your food is almost as safe now as it ever was. The bad news is that our safety inspection system is woefully underfunded and inadequate. But we should have already deduced that fact given the two deadly e-coli outbreaks in the last year. The law on food inspections is relatively strong, but not being fully implemented. And lax agricultural practices and health and safety regulations regarding pesticides and use of certain fertilizers create further loopholes that create more risk than most people realize.Continue Reading 441 words
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