Public Health Forum: Food Safety and Meat Production
January 19, 2010 – Reception 4:30 – Speakers 5 – 7 p.m.
IUPUI Campus Center Room 450 C
420 University Blvd, Indianapolis
Directions at http://life.iupui.edu/campus-center/about/maps
Tuesday evening’s panel discussion will focus on conversation of the use of antibiotics in industrial-style meat production.
Drug-resistant diseases cost our country billions. Many industrial livestock operations routinely feed low doses of antibiotics to chickens and other animals that aren’t sick, which promotes the development of deadly antibiotic-resistant organisms. The MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection is resistant to most antibiotics and is linked in part to routine use of antibiotics as growth promoters in meat production. Come learn what we can do to reduce health care costs and protect our families and our communities at the same time.
Public Health Impacts of the Livestock Industry
Robert Martin, Pew Charitable Trust
Stephen J. Jay, MD, IU School of Medicine, Dept. of Public Health
Getting Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone out of Dairy Products
Rick North, Physicians for Social Responsibility
Campaign to Build a Better Meat Industry
William Kramer, Interfaith Coalition for Corporate Responsibility
Success Stories: Panel on Institutional Purchasing Options in Indiana
Hoosier Environmental Council
Indiana Public Health Association
Indiana CAFO Watch
IU Department of Public Health in the School of Medicine
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
In my opinion, if there is one change we need to make in how we raise, produce and consume food, it is to move away from the practices of industrial-style meat production (no matter the size of the farm). Industrial-style meat production can be directly or very shortly linked to some of the most horrifying food safety, public health, and environmental concerns our nation faces. E-coli outbreaks, antibiotic resistance, air, water and soil pollution, ecosystem destruction and loss of biodiversity in soil and water, severe illness in communities neighboring industrial livestock farms, and more.
Each of the meat and animal product farmers at the IWFM represent the alternative to industrial meat. Brown Family Farm, Circle L Bison, Farming for Life, Peachy Farm/Sunset Acres, Schacht Farm, Simpson’s Farm, Skillington Farm, Trader’s Point Creamery, Vogel Dairy and Wildflower Ridge Honey all raise their animals using methods that are humane to the animals and farm workers, as well as methods that work with the land and ecosystem in which they are farming to maintain the health and balance of nature. In addition to the obvious benefits provided the animals, farm workers, and environment, you as the eating consumer receive direct health benefits. You avoid second-hand antibiotic and hormone consumption, the meat is arguably more nutritionally significant because the animals have been eating a diet natural to their evolution, and the animals themselves are healthier which significantly diminishes the risk of dangerous bacterial contamination of the meat.
Our choice is not meat or no meat. Our choice is good, clean, fair meat raised by farmers on farms like those represented at the IWFM, not industrial-style meat raised in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) or smaller factory farm equivalents. This is an important choice in Indiana, as we face an increasing number of CAFOs moving into the state and the problems they bring. You express your choice through the meat that you purchase, and we need to overcome hesitation in expressing this truth. If you are looking for more information, this event is a good start.