MTPR

The Trouble With CAFOs

Jun 2, 2019

The Food Guys detail problems with antibiotic use at concentrated animal feed operations (CAFOs), discuss ethical concerns over treatment of animals, and question the claim that CAFOs are more efficient or cost effective than smaller operations.

Why be concerned about concentrated animal feed operations (CAFOs)? "If you're not eating at home, 90% of the food that you would eat comes from CAFOs," say Jon Jackson, in this second part of the Food Guys' series on CAFOs.

The Food Guys discuss a report on CAFOs by the Union of Concerned Scientists that recommends a ban on non-therapeutic use of antibiotics, widely used in CAFOs, which can lead to antibiotic resistance. The report also recommends a disease monitoring program for food animals, and the phasing out of the most intensive and inhumane practices to reduce the health risk to animals and people.

"This whole thing is based on greed, Greg Patent says. "This is a profit motive thing. These producers are making lots of money. They're getting government subsidies for cheap grain to feed to the animals. So they're making a lot of money. They don't even care about the animals."

"To me it boils down to a much, much, larger problem that extends into other areas, like monoculture on a vast region of agriculture," says John Jackson. "And basically, how we deal with corporations. This is a real problem in the United States, and something has to be done about it," says Jon Jackson.

According to Greg Patent, "They've gotten to be so big, and yet it turns out, small and medium sized operations where the animals are not confined are just as efficient, and just as cost effective."

"Problem number one is we have to do something about this non-theraputic use of anti-microbials right now. This has to happen pretty quickly because the recipe for disaster is boiling away. If we don't watch out, it's going to be a real catastrophe nationally," Jon Jackson emphasizes.

Listen to the first "Food Guys" episode on CAFOs here.

(Broadcast: "The Food Guys," 07/26/15. Listen weekly on the radio at 11:50 a.m. Sundays and again at 4:54 p.m. Thursdays, or via podcast.)