Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Group Releases Report & Map On "Factory Farms"

Jul 24: Food & Water Watch America (FWWA) issued a release saying that "rural communities from coast to coast are living with the human health and environmental costs of factory farms that cram together hundreds of thousands of animals in filthy conditions." The organization released a first-ever national map charting factory farms to illustrate how the facilities are concentrated in some regions of the country. FWWA Executive Director Wenonah Hauter said, "People working in these animal factories or those living nearby often suffer intensely from the odors and experience a range of negative physical effects. People thousands of miles away from factory farms are not immune to their impacts. Consumers eating the dairy, egg, and meat products produced there are faced with the consequences of antibiotic and artificial hormone use and other food safety problems."

Bob Lawrence, Johns Hopkins University professor and director of the Center for a Livable Future said, "Factory farms create serious human health and environmental risks [to] the communities where they locate. The millions of gallons of manure with the toxic chemicals they emit harm human health and cause hazardous air and water pollution.”

The FWWA factory farm map illustrates that confined animal feeding operations, the dominant form of livestock production in the United States, also known as CAFOs or factory farms, are found throughout the country. But some regions host a comparatively large share of intensive animal production – Iowa and North Carolina for hogs, California and Idaho for dairy cows, Texas and Kansas for cattle feedlots, Georgia and Alabama for broiler chickens, and Iowa and Ohio for egg production.

FWWA released a companion report, Turning Farms into Factories, that explains the forces driving factory farms, as well as the environmental, public health, and economic consequences of this type of animal production. FWWA Assistant Director Patty Lovera said, "As industrial animal operations spread, they drive more family farmers out of business. Factory farming must end, and Congress and regulatory agencies need to make certain that food is produced in a sustainable way that does not harm people and the environment."

Access a lengthy release with recommendations and with links to additional information (click here). Access the interactive factory farm map website (click here). Access the 15-page report (click here). [*Agriculture]

No comments: