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Unsafe at any temperature: Factory Farming and Human Health Effects January 19, 2006

Posted by Matt Hurst in Uncategorized.
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Introduction/Part One


Animal food products are less safe for human consumption today than they were as recently as 35 years ago. The emergence of corporate agribusinesses, which employs the use of factory farms to generate animal food products, in the past half century has created a large food supply that has lowed prices and raised profits, but with minimal consideration for the human health risks it creates. The practice of factory farming on animals creates unreasonable health risks for humans that consume them. By creating conditions that promote the spread of disease among the animals and the overuse of antibiotics to combat this, leading to drug-resistance in humans, factory farming is a practice that should not be employed because of its negative impact on human health.

Factory farming is a practice of agribusiness (sometimes referred to as confined animal feeding operations) which typically put hundreds to thousands of animals confined in close-quarters indoors, where animals given high-energy feed and (usually) growth hormones to promote growth with minimal expense. In these conditions it is much easier to instigate illnesses in the animals (because of the stress it puts on their bodies) and for contagious diseases to spread throughout the factory farm. Because factory farms promote the spread of disease, antibiotics are employed liberally to keep the animals alive. In fact, nearly 70% of all antibiotics used in the United States are used on animals#. It is widely known that the overuse of antibiotics can create drug-resistant bacteria, which poses a risk to humans as we contract the antibiotic pathogens when we consume the animal products. It is also possible that drug-resistant bacteria could be passed on to humans when we consume the animal products raised under factory farming conditions. In instances where disease cannot be combated by antibiotics alone for the animals the illness can be passed on to humans consuming them causing food borne illness. The FDA estimates 76 million cases of food borne illness occur each year that will cause about 5000 deaths for unlucky consumers#. In any case, the practice of factory farming creates unnecessary risk to the health of humans when they consume the animal products.

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