Thursday, April 30, 2009

Breaking News - New Anti-Ag Group Formed

This infomation is coming from Animal Agriculture Alliance. This was posted with their permission.

We just learned about yet another anti-modern farming organization called the Center to Expose & Close Animal Factories (CECAF) that launched today. They just held a telepress conference which was wrought with misinformation and sensationalism. The group's supposed founders, Richard Middleton and Charlie Speer - two litigators who met Robert Kennedy at one of his rallies several years ago - decided filing lawsuits on their own was not enough. Therefore, they decided to form this non-profit organization to elevate the profile of "animal factory" issues and work to close these kinds of farm operations (yet they had no definition of what an animal factory was other than "big" - and "the bigger they are, the more problematic that are."

They used the guise of "swine flu" and Smithfield in their press release to announce the conference to hook reporters into participating, yet didn't reference that at all in their opening comments. Only when asked by a reporter directly if they had evidence of any connection between the H1N1 flu and the farm in Mexico, all they could say was "well it's all over the internet," and really "it's just a matter of time" before disease is rampant b/c of the mass numbers of animals on these farms today. They essentially repeated the same sensational and completely false claims made by activists - both environmental & animal rights, and , and directly stated it was not only pork farms that they intended to target but all types of CAFOs.

Interestingly, they referenced the Pew Commission report a couple of times as an "excellent source of information on these issues," and then noted one of their "clients" was GRACE - both of which are based at the Center for a Livable Future of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Steve Kopperud asked if they were affiliated with groups like HSUS or Farm Sanctuary, but they weren't named. Only GRACE, the Sierra Club and a group called Socially Responsible Ag Project.

They indicated their Board of Directors would be available on its website, but it's their Advisory Board which are all individuals and we haven't researched their affiliations yet. Here's the website for more information: http://www.closeanimalfactories.org/

Fortunately, neither Middleton nor Speer could answer many of the questions posed with credible answers, and it showed even to the non-ag reporters on the line. But this is yet another group out to "get" animal ag & definitely one to keep an eye on in the future.

2 comments:

michael said...

It amazes me that you call yourselves "Advocates for Agriculture" and Cecaf "Anti-ag" in your headline. Nothing could be further from the truth. If we want to be accurate, why don't we refer to your group as PRO Agribusiness and Cecaf as pro sustainable farming.
The concentrations of animals in stressful conditions ,as well as vast amounts of manure,antibiotics,
and pathogens are cause for great concern, not only for pandemics but for water and soil quality,as well as air. Without clean water and good soil, no vegetation will grow.
These facilities are usually owned by absentee landlords who destroy rural communities ,family farmers and ALL of our health and environment. This is done ONLY for greed. People realize that our food grown by Agribusiness does not even have the same nutritional value. There are lines at farmers markets, CSA's are everywhere, free range meat is in high demand.
Stop the Myth!!! You are no friend to agriculture. I thank Cecaf for exposing this injustice! Buy local!

Troy Hadrick said...

Michael,

I am a fifth generation United States rancher. CECAF is trying to stop families like mine from being involved in agriculture. They are headed by a couple of lawyers that depend on people like me to grow their food. My 'group' that you refer to is me and my wife.

Clean water and good soil are essential to me and all of agriculture in order to feed the world. That is why we are concerned about the environment and employ many measures in order to protect it. If we weren't concerned about sustainability, I would not have been able to be the fifth generation in my family to grow food.

CECAF's agenda will not only destroy farming families, but it will also put our country at risk of losing our home-grown food supply.

I am glad to hear that there are lines at the farmer's markets in your area. I have many good friends that utilize them to sell their crops. Unfortunately, because of our remote location, that really isn't a good option for us. We do however direct market some of our beef to friends and neighbors. So I too encourage people to support their local farmers if they can.

My hope is that by using the methods we do that my children will be the sixth generation to work the land and feed this country.