June 7, 2001 (To Search This Page Press Ctrl F)
1. COK Seeks Prosecution of Egg Factory
2. The Dangers of (And To) Poultry
3. Dangerous Drugs in U.K. Chicken And Eggs
4. Humane Slaughter Resolution Introduced
5. HSUS Launches "Halt Hog Factories" Campaign
6. Fish Farms Blamed For Wild Salmon Demise
7. Uncool Cattle Conditions
8. BSE Special Reports
9. Cloned Animal Meat
10. Ethnic Market For Goat Meat
11. Food Industry Guidelines to Better Identify Ingredients
12. Learning to Be Vegan
1. COK SEEKS PROSECUTION OF EGG FACTORY
Inhumane conditions at a Maryland egg factory were exposed by Compassion Over Killing (COK), a D.C. animal rights organization, which is pressing Maryland authorities to prosecute under the state's recently strengthened animal cruelty laws. After being denied a tour of an International Standard of Excellence (ISE) egg farm, activists repeatedly visited the facility on their own and documented the atrocities they found. The company, an international agribusiness based in Japan with over 5.5 million hens in the U.S., denied the allegations and claims it follows "normal industry practices." Such practices are exempt from Maryland's anti-cruelty law. Details of the investigation and the rescue of 8 of the hens can be found
"Activists Accuse Egg Farm of Cruelty," The Washington Post, Lori
Montgomery, June 6, 2001, B05.
2. THE DANGERS OF (AND TO) POULTRY
An extensive article in the Hartford Advocate examines the hazards of
eating poultry, in particular from the antibiotics they are given, primarily for growth promotion. The articles considers historical trends in poultry production, the findings of a recent report on antibiotic abuse by animal agriculture, poultry contamination rates, human disease statistics and the correlation with animal industry drug use, industry refutations, and various recommendations. The article also considers animal welfare problems with excerpts from "Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs."
"Cluck You!: The chemicals in your poultry," Hartford Advocate, Janet
Reynolds, May 16, 2001.
Estimates of Anti-Microbial Abuse in Livestock," Union of
Concerned Scientists, January 2001.
Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs
3. DANGEROUS DRUGS IN U.K. CHICKEN AND EGGS
About 20% of chickens and 10% of eggs in Britain contain antibiotic
residues which may cause cancer, birth defects or heart attacks, according
to a recent report by the Soil Association. The organic farming
organization accused the government of misleading the public about the high incidence of these drug residues, and claims some samples are more than 50 times above the legal limit. Drugs used to control intestinal parasites in poultry and game birds are said to pose the greatest threat.
"Drugs in poultry threaten health - UK organic group," Reuters Limited,
June 4, 2001.
4. HUMANE SLAUGHTER RESOLUTION INTRODUCED
A resolution was introduced in the Senate in response to a recent
Washington Post article detailing cruelties occurring in modern
slaughterhouses and the USDA's failure to enforce the Humane Slaughter
Act. Senate Concurrent Resolution 45, the Humane Slaughter Resolution,
calls upon the Secretary of Agriculture to fully enforce the Humane Methods
of Slaughter Act and requests that the USDA track and annually
report violations of it. To call or write your U.S. Senators about S.
Con. Res. 45, you can reach them through the Congressional switchboard
(202/225-3121) or write to: The Honorable (full name), U.S. Senate,
Washington, DC 20510. You can look up your Senators online and send a
follow-up email through: http://www.senate.gov.
"They Die Piece by Piece," The Washington Post, Joby Warrick, June 10, 2001,
The text of the Resolution can be found at http://thomas.loc.gov by typing
"sconres45" in the 'search by bill number' box.
5. HSUS LAUNCHES "HALT HOG FACTORIES" CAMPAIGN
A campaign aimed at ending the intensive confinement of pigs has been
initiated by The Humane Society of the United States. The organization is
making available "calling cards" for individuals to give to grocery stores
and restaurants to convey their intention to reject meat obtained from pig
factories. Window stickers are also available. The organization points to a
recent poll which indicates that 67% of Americans think pigs should be
treated humanely, and 72% would pay more for products from pigs raised less inhumanely.
"New campaign starts to halt Hog Factories in U.S.," Latest News, The Pig
Site, May 31, 2001.
6. FISH FARMS BLAMED FOR WILD SALMON DEMISE
"The Status of Wild Atlantic Salmon - A river by River Assessment," a
report by the World Wildlife Federation, charts the condition of
salmon-bearing rivers in different countries. All such rivers in the U.S.
are categorized as being either "critical" or "extinct." Commercial salmon
farming tops the list of fish hazards due its reduction of the gene pool
and the spread of parasites and disease.
"Fish farms threaten the world's wild salmon," Electronic Telegraph,
Charles Clover, June 1, 2001.
"Wild Atlantic salmon in crisis," World Wildlife Federation, May 31, 2001.
7. UNCOOL CATTLE CONDITIONS
Several thousand cattle die from heat stress each year in feedlots, and
many more suffer from it. Nebraska researchers, funded by a USDA grant, are
involved in a 3 year, multi-state research project dealing with the issue.
The scientific team has put forth 4 "clues" for monitoring potential heat
stress in cattle. They are: hot weather following precipitation can be
stressful (temperature and humidity determining the severity of the
stress); monitor the "upper critical temperature-humidity limits for
cattle" (the limit being 86 degrees F at 60% relative humidity); watch for
overnight temperatures above 70 degrees F; and watch for restless cattle -
stressed cattle will slobber, respire rapidly and elevate their heads to
breathe, and position their bodies to minimize exposure to the sun.
[Editor's note: Feedlot cattle are typically kept in unshaded dirt lots.]
"Right up your Alley," Beef Magazine, Clint Peck, June 1, 2001.
8. BSE SPECIAL REPORTS
"The Beacon Journal" (Akron, Ohio) ran a 3-day series examining the
potential for mad cow disease in the U.S. and some of the impacts it is
already causing. The second installment of the series looks at the
rendering industry which, last year, had sales of $2.5 billion. The series
also includes definitions, teaching aids and links. Other media outlets
featuring BSE specials include The Guardian Unlimited, New Scientist
Magazine, and the BBC.
"Mad Cow: Can we stop it?" The Beacon Journal, Mary Ethridge, Jane Snow and Tracy Wheeler, June 3-5, 2001.
"Special report: The BSE crisis," Guardian Unlimited, June 6, 2001.
"BSE Crisis," New Scientist Magazine
In Depth: BSE and
CJD, BBC News
9. CLONED ANIMAL MEAT
The FDA is determining whether it will allow meat or milk from cloned
animals to be sold to the public. The agency plans to evaluate if the
products are safe and if the technology may be harmful to animals or the
environment. Biotech companies have been asked to keep cloned animals out of the food supply until the National Academy of Sciences reviews the
matter. Some scientists have expressed concerns that wide-scale cloning
could make farmed animals more susceptible to disease, but officials are
doubtful that the FDA will regulate cloned animals. Meat from genetically
engineered animals is regulated by the FDA. Tainted meat from genetically
altered pigs stolen from the University of Florida was recently served at a
"FDA Evaluates Cloned Animals," Agweb News, Darcy Maulsby, June 5, 2001.
"Tainted pigs show up in sausage at funeral," The Associated Press (The
Florida Times-Union), June 3, 2001.
10. ETHNIC MARKET FOR GOAT MEAT
A group of 65 New England dairy farmers met the last weekend of May to
discuss how they may be able to profit from the growing market for goat
meat. Although the urban corridor of the northeast U.S. is the area of
greatest demand for it, two thirds of the goats used for meat in the U.S.
are raised in Texas, and 30% of goat meat is imported from Australia and
New Zealand. In less than 15 years, the number of goats slaughtered in U.S.
federally inspected plants increased more than 10 times, to over a half a
million goats in 2000. One New Hampshire farmer "happily allows Muslim
customers to perform slaughtering rituals," and relates that "enthusiasts
say goats are a joy to work with, exhibiting `humanistic-like'
"A taste for goat meat offers farmers fresh niche," Boston Globe, Ellen
Barry, June 3, 2001, p. 1.
11. FOOD INDUSTRY GUIDELINES TO BETTER IDENTIFY INGREDIENTS
To help prevent allergic reactions, food industry trade groups have devised
new labeling guidelines to more clearly state specific ingredients. Seven
million Americans suffer food allergies, and about 150 people die each year
from them. The guidelines apply to the 8 food groups which cause the most
allergic reactions, which include eggs, milk, fish and crustaceans (e.g.,
crabs and lobsters). Under the guidelines, casein [a component of milk]
will instead be identified as "milk," and albumen [an egg component] will
be labeled as "eggs." The FDA, which has increasingly expressed concerns
about food allergens but has not proposed labeling rules, welcomed the
guidelines. They are voluntary, however, with no penalty for companies that
do not follow them.
"Industry Sets Guidelines for Clearer Food Labels," Associated Press (The
Washington Post), May 31, 2001, A12.
"Food Industry Agrees to Tighter Standard on Food Labeling," The New York
Times, Greg Winter, May 31, 2001.
12. LEARNING TO BE VEGAN
Students who tried a vegan diet for one month reported physical and
academic improvements. Many of the students at Bay Point Schools, an
alternative, residential public school in Florida, were troubled teens sent
there after committing offenses. The experiment began in the school's
culinary arts program, but other students joined as it progressed. At a
graduation ceremony, several of the students spoke of the impact the diet
had on them and one mentioned his intent to remain on it. On a related note, the Philadelphia Daily News ran an article explaining what to offer vegan guests.
"Brain food: Student vegans see boost in grades, energy," Miami Herald,
Lila Arzua, June 4, 2001.
"The vegan who came to dinner," Philadelphia Daily News, Vance Lehmkuhl,
May 30, 2001.
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