The USDA allows livestock to be fed controversial growth enhancers that are banned in the European Union. This year Russia joined the countries that won’t accept meat that was raised with beta agonists, forcing US authorities to come up with some quick answers if they want to recover this large export market. A collateral effect could be that Americans get meat that’s free of growth hormones, or not.
In an effort to salvage the effectiveness of a certain antibiotic for use in treating human illnesses, the US Food and Drug Administration issued an order today prohibiting certain off-label uses of cephalosporin in cattle, swine, chickens and turkeys.
The new rules, set to take effect, April 5, 2012, will still allow the livestock industry to use the drug, but only as prescribed.
The FDA’s action comes after collecting extensive public comment on this issue in 2008.
CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories (Earth Aware, 2010) takes no shortcuts as it squires us on an uncomfortable walk through the ways of modern meat production. It’s a grimy, grisly world and while much is immediately apparent, it’s important to stay for the entire tour so you can appreciate all the connections, redundancies and stupidity in the system.
This isn’t easy. There are pictures — and text — that are pure horror show; glimpses of the slaughterhouse where you can almost smell the stench. But stay on the walk, so you’ll understand. That’s important, because in the end, this is not about a more efficient system that’s brutal but necessary to feed the world, but about a super-controlled corporate game that’s out of control.