Report Overlooks Animal Agriculture’s Progress

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 22, 2013 – A report issued today from an institution whose namesake is the poster boy for the food police ignores the tremendous progress America’s farmers and ranchers have made in producing safe, affordable food while improving animal well-being, protecting the environment and using animal health products responsibly.

The Center for a Livable Future (CLF), which initiated “Meatless Mondays” and is part of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health – named for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has, for example, banned the sale of large sodas in his city – released an update of a 2008 report from the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production that was highly critical of modern animal agriculture. (CLF in 2008 directed the work of the commission.)

Composed primarily of members opposed to modern livestock production, the commission called for phasing out certain production practices, banning certain animal antibiotics and placing new restrictions on the use of manure; it said large animal feeding operations are bad for rural economies.

The “updated” report claims that that the animal agriculture industry has “made the problems worse” over the past five year in addressing the commission’s concerns.

“Just as it was five years ago, the charges against animal agriculture made in the CLF report bear little resemblance to the truth,” said Randy Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, Minn., and president of the National Pork Producers Council. “The report is wrong in every aspect, and the CLF ignored the extensive steps animal agriculture has taken over the last decade or more to address various industry challenges

“We have continuously made improvements in animal care, including protecting them from diseases, and we always have been good stewards of the land, air and water we use.”

A report issued Monday from the Animal Agriculture Alliance belies the CLF report. The AAA report can be found at http://animalagalliance.org/images/upload/FOR WEBSITE Advances in Animal Agriculture 10.17.13.pdf.