Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pew Commission Report

Pew Commission Says Industrial Scale Farm Animal Production Poses ‘Unacceptable’ Risks to Public Health, Environment

WASHINGTON, April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

The current industrial farm animal production (IFAP) system often poses unacceptable risks to public health, the environment and the welfare of the animals themselves, according to an extensive 2 1/2-year examination conducted by the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (PCIFAP), in a study released today.

Below are the Commissions 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 inhumane production practices within a decade to reduce the risk of IFAP to public health and improve animal wellbeing (i.e., gestation crates and battery cages).

5. Federal and state laws need to be amended and enforced to provide a level playing field for producers when entering contracts with integrators.

6. Increase funding for, expand and reform, animal agriculture research.

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Here it is. After two plus years of study, the PEW Commission released their report on Tuesday. Not surprisingly, they have suggested several changes to modern production agriculture. The commission doesn’t seem to answer whether we will be able to feed the 10 billion people that will be inhabiting this planet by the middle of the century, using their suggestions. We have the technology to do it, the question is whether we will be allowed to implement it.

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