Last year, Big Ag and the food industry in general had successfully lobbied legislation in some states to prohibit undercover photos and videos from being taken of factory farming livestock scenarios and disallowed mainstream media outlets from receiving and displaying those photos or videos.
Fortunately, the outcry from many different sources, including mainstream media, First Amendment and food consumer activists, those “Animal Facility Interference” or “Ag Gag” laws were quickly repealed. Yet they are “creeping back,” according to a report on AlterNet.
Nine examples of what the public isn’t supposed to know
(1) Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH): It’s injected into cows to force more milk production. Monsanto created it by combining cow DNA and E. coli (really). Now Eli Lily owns it.
It infects cows’ udders, causing gross malformations and demands a plethora of antibiotic injections which furthers the creation of antibiotic resistant superbugs. It also leaves small amounts of pus in consumers’ milk.
For a few years, farmers who labeled their milk “no rBGH” were harassed with “legal actions” by Monsanto. That level of free speech has been halted, yet rBGH treated milk is not labeled.
(2) Toxic drugs in meat: The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has determined that meat inspectors lack the wherewithal to find certain toxic drug residues in meats from factory farming. Parasites and bacteria can be cooked out. Drugs and heavy metals can’t be cooked out.
(3) Gourmet meats: Calves are placed into tiny crates to prevent any movement then slaughtered before full maturity. Their muscles aren’t developed, so their tender meat is served as veal.
Despite images of geese and ducks with bleeding throats struggling to breathe and barely able to walk, force feeding fowl to create the bloated liver “delicacy” known as foie gras continues in the USA.
(4) Salmonella: The perpetrator of the most recent huge egg salmonella outbreak, Jack DeCoster, only had to recall a half-billion eggs after causing 1600 illnesses.
He wasn’t shut down or arrested or fined despite the atrocious disease potential conditions of hen houses that are common among egg producers, including Tyson Foods. Instead of creating better conditions, they just inject the hens with more antibiotics.
(5) Antibiotics: Speaking of antibiotics, 70 percent of existing antibiotics are injected into livestock. The consumed meat brings antibiotics into human bodies. Added to this factor is the overuse of antibiotics for humans. The result is more antibiotic resistance and superbugs such as MRSA.
(6) Extreme growth promoters: The EU doesn’t allow antibiotics or extreme growth promoters to be used on livestock. The USDA is all for it. Even arsenic is allowed to make chickens grow bigger, faster. Enjoy your chicken wings.
(7) HACCP: Stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. It actually restricts meat inspectors by leaving it up to the companies to assure the cleanliness and safety of their meats.
The inspectors come around to check on whether they’re doing the quality control methods those companies had proposed, yet they wind up having to look the other way as they push out contaminated meat.
(8) Mad Cow: It came, it went, and it’s back again according to the report posted on AlterNet. The EU banned beef imports from the U.S. when the first mad cow episode occurred.
Mad cow results from mixing cow parts in with cattle feed, causing the neurodegenerative disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) that can also contaminate humans.
(9) Cloned livestock: The FDA and USDA claim there is no difference between cloned and natural livestock, so it needn’t be labeled. This reasoning mimics GMO and rBGH non labeling issues. Monsanto really does control the FDA and USDA.
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