An over-capacity crowd packed into the Ft. Collins, Colorado, Marriott last night for a spirited town hall about the impact of corporate concentration on the livestock industry. Extra chairs had to be brought in and the room’s dividing wall removed to accommodate at least 350 people, many in cowboy hats, who are in town for today’s Department of Justice/USDA workshop on Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement Issues in Our 21st Century Economy, this one focused on livestock.
The evening started with a panel including a cow/calf operator, a labor leader, and other ranchers. Read more
Leadership at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made it abundantly clear last week that the low-dose usage of antibiotics in food animals, simply to promote growth or improve feed efficiency, needlessly contributes to the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and poses a serious threat to public health. Despite the fact that the FDA is taking a hard-line stance on the issue, I find it frustrating to see that the agency appears to be hamstrung from taking the necessary steps to mandate industry to end the risky practice. Read more
Nicolette Hahn Niman has been thinking about livestock for nearly a decade. Before she married (and began ranching with) Bill Niman, founder of Niman Ranch*, Nicolette worked as a senior attorney for Waterkeeper Alliance where she was in charge of the organization’s campaign to reform the concentrated livestock and poultry industry. Nicolette spoke with CUESA recently about greenhouse gas emissions, the sustainable livestock tipping point, and her book Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms (HarperCollins, 2009). She also authored a New York Times op-ed on Saturday called The Carnivore’s Dilemma. Read more