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Unsafe at any temperature: Part 2 January 20, 2006

Posted by Matt Hurst in Uncategorized.

Part 2

Many argue that the practices of factory farming does not harm human health because their methods have been approved and the products inspected by US government agencies such as the FDA and USDA. The FDA approves the use of all drugs used on animals, meaning they are safe for animals to use. The USDA inspects food products from animals to ensure that they are safe for human consumption before they are distributed. Should food borne illness occur, they argue, it is the result of poor food preparation. An example of such poor food preparation resulting in food borne illness would be am undercooked beef product that does not remove most of the e-coli bacteria. Under this logic, the regulation of food products and drugs can protect human health, so factory farming would not be considered a danger to public health.

In many cases however, these governmental agencies cannot protect human health from the dangers factory farming poses for them. The FDA does approve drugs for use in animals, but in doing so does not always consider the risks the use of antibiotics on animals poses to human health in animal products. A good example of this lapse in consideration is its approval of drug use is Bovine Growth Hormone (also known as BGH). BGH is used to increase milk production, but is also known to increase the occurrence of Bovine Mastitis, an infection of the cow’s udders, for which antibiotics are employed. These antibiotics can still be passed on to humans as they consume dairy products from the cattle, and for this reason BGH has been banned in every other first world country besides the US and led to calls from the General Accounting Office for a halt in the sale of milk from cows treated with the hormone. Though the USDA inspects food products to ensure their safety, the gross volume of animal products and minimum number of inspectors prevents it from ensuring the safety of individual animal products, instead primarily inspecting the butcheries and distribution centers. The USDA estimates that 70% of the occurrences of food borne illness can be traced back to contaminated meat, so food preparation cannot prevent the incurrence of food borne illness stemming from the practice of factory farming.


1. nilsinedeo - January 20, 2006

Mastitis (in humans) is disgusting. I can only imagine how it’d be for a cow.

2. sweetdagger - January 20, 2006

supporting the dairy industry is supporting the meat industry.

Which means, by consuming cheese, you are still financially contributing to the meat industry.

But, seriously, baby steps. It can be difficult to eliminate meat/dairy/etc from one’s diet. Seriously, good luck, man. It is good that you’re doing your research!

3. skewgee - January 20, 2006

thanks for the support, but this is old research. excerpts of a paper from a class last spring i wrote.
nothing in this paper calls for individual action, but an end to factory farming agribusiness practices

4. skewgee - January 20, 2006

i’d search google, but i like sleeping with my stomach acid inside my stomach

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