The industrial meat industry has been hogging the food-related news cycle lately. The COVID-19 outbreaks at meatpacking plants. The slaughterhouse shut-downs. The “depopulating” of farm animals. Meat shortages and rising meat prices.
And then there’s the corresponding good news: Consumers buying more organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised meat products from local farmers and CSAs—even online sales of these products are surging.
So far, the industrial factory farm dairy industry hasn’t seen nearly as much news coverage. But under the mainstream media radar, two organizations recently shone a spotlight on dairy producers.
The Institute for Ag and Trade Policy (IATP) issued a report on the role of industrial dairy in global warming. The report, “Milking the Planet: How Big Dairy Is Heating Up the Planet and Hollowing Rural Communities,” calls for “redirecting public funds away from industrial agriculture, regulating the public health, environmental and social impacts of this extractive model of production and designing incentives to regenerate rural communities through agroecology.
The Cornucopia Institute also focused attention this week on the dairy industry, with the launch of a new dairy campaign that the organization says will “empower consumers and wholesale buyers to support hard-working farmers who are in danger of being washed off the land by a tidal wave of surplus organic milk, stemming from the rise of factory farms certified under the USDA organic label.”
The two reports are a good reminder of how consumers, by supporting local organic regenerative dairy farmers, can help influence the market—and ultimately, policy.
Read ‘Dirty Dairy’ Gets Its Due: Two Organizations Shine a Light on the Downsides of Industrial Dairy'
So far, most (not all) mainstream and progressive media outlets have toed the line on the origins of COVID-19 story. No genetic engineering. No lab escape.
Anyone who suggests otherwise is merely peddling conspiracy theories. But could the tide be slowly turning?
This week the Wall Street Journal, published an article that begins with this:
“New research has deepened, rather than dispelled, the mystery surrounding the origin of the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19. Bats, wildlife markets, possibly pangolins and perhaps laboratories may all have played some role, but the simple story of an animal in a market infected by a bat that then infected several human beings no longer looks credible.”
The Journal article refers to numerous studies, including one by Nikolai Petrovksy and colleagues at Flinders University in Australia who, the Journal reports, have found that SARS-CoV-2 has a higher affinity for human receptors than for any other animal species they tested, including pangolins and horseshoe bats.
“[Petrovsky] suggests that this could have happened if the virus was being cultured in human cells, adding that ‘We can’t exclude the possibility that this came from a laboratory experiment.’”
Why does it matter where the virus came from? Because as the news reports, including this one in 2016, reveal, safety measures at labs similar to the one in Wuhan are frighteningly lax. And the number of labs is growing.
According to a recent article in the New Yorker:
“Before 1990, there had been only two BSL-4 labs in the United States: one at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta, and another at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (U.S.A.M.R.I.I.D.), in Fort Detrick, Maryland. In the nineteen-nineties, three were added. In the first seven years after 9/11, the United States opened ten more. In a 2007 report, Keith Rhodes, then the chief technologist in the Government Accountability Office (G.A.O.)—the independent watchdog that conducts research for Congress—observed that there was ‘a major proliferation of high-containment BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs is taking place in the United States.’ Rhodes counted fifteen known American BSL-4 labs (including N.B.A.F. [National Bio and Agro-defense Facility]) but suggested that there could be others; the number of BSL-3 labs appeared to have increased even more. ‘No single federal agency knows how many such labs there are in the United States,’ Rhodes wrote, and ‘no one is responsible for determining the aggregate risks associated with the expansion of these high-containment labs.’ In theory, the Federal Select Agent Program keeps tabs, since any lab in possession of a substance on its list has to register; a 2017 report from the G.A.O. counted two hundred and seventy-six high-containment select-agent labs in the United States. But the actual number is almost certainly higher, because not every dangerous pathogen is on the federal list.”
The real question we should be asking ourselves now is this: What possible justification is there for allowing (and funding with taxpayer dollars) researchers to engineer viruses to make them lethal to humans?
Read ‘So Where Did the Virus Come From?'
Read 'The Risks of Building Too Many Bio Labs'
Read ‘SARS-CoV-2 Origin — Deadliest Cover-Up in Human History’
Read ‘Why COVID-19 Disproportionately Affects the Elderly’
Read ‘Emails Reveal Chaos as Meatpacking Companies Fought Health Agencies Over COVID-19 Outbreaks in Their Plants’
SIGN THE PETITION: Stop the Genetic Engineering of Viruses! Shut Down All Biowarfare Labs Now!
Everywhere you look, food is in the news.
For some of you, this may be the first time you’ve ever been confronted with empty shelves in food stores.
For others, you may have caught your first real glimpse into the unsafe, unjust and downright horrific conditions endured by slaughterhouse workers—and the total disregard Big Meat corporations have for the safety and well being of the people on whose backs they’ve built huge profits.
For many, COVID-19 has forced a renewed commitment to taking back control of their own health . . . to connecting the dots between nutrient-rich, pesticide-free organic food and a strong immune system.
However the crisis has affected your personal relationship with food, this much is clear: COVID-19 has shown that our highly centralized industrial food system—especially factory farm meat production—can’t weather a crisis without experiencing major breaks in its supply chain.
We’ve got the attention right now of consumers, media and Congress. That's a huge opportunity.
But a lot of what we’re able to do will depend on our ability to ride out this immediate financial crisis.
We need your support now more than ever.
Please help us raise $100,000 by midnight June 30 to avoid a second-quarter shortfall
Make a tax-deductible donation to Organic Consumers Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Support Citizens Regeneration Lobby, OCA’s 501(c)(4) lobbying arm (not tax-deductible)
Donate $100 or more and we’ll send you a copy of Ronnie’s new book
Click here for more ways to support our work
Big Meat corporations want Congress to bail them out . . . even though the COVID-19 crisis has exposed how the industrial meat model—with its disease-ridden slaughterhouses and its unjust and monopolistic practices—is a total failure.
Isn’t it about time Congress funded local meat processors who help build food and economic security for your community? Instead of absentee corporations that extract resources and profits, but care nothing about your community’s health or wealth?
The Small Packer Overtime and Holiday Fee Relief for COVID-19 Act would provide support to small meatpacking plants that are operating longer hours during the COVID-19 pandemic to meet growing demand for local meat.
Meat has to be inspected by employees of the U.S. Department of Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The FSIS charges meatpacking plants a fee for overtime and holiday hours paid to food inspectors. Large corporations can absorb those extra costs when they keep plants open for longer hours—but most smaller meatpacking plants can’t.
The Small Packer Overtime and Holiday Fee Relief COVID-19 Act would provide funding to FSIS to reduce fees charged to small meatpacking plants when they request overtime and holiday inspection services.
There’s never been a better time to transform how meat is produced and processed in this country. Passing this legislation is a good first step.
TAKE ACTION! Ask Congress to fund local meat processing, not Big Meat bailouts!
Vandana Shiva calls Bill Gates the Christopher Columbus of modern times. And by that, she means, he’s a pirate.
In a recent interview with a French television station, Shiva—a physicist, activist and founder of Navdanya, says that the famous billionaire is merely continuing the work of Monsanto.
Rather than accepting the mountains of scientific evidence that nature is the basis of economy, that working with ecological systems to grow food produces higher yields, better nutrition and stronger local economies, Gates keeps pushing a failed technology “with a huge cost to the planet only to create monopolies.”
Shiva refers to Gates—and Mark Zuckerberg—as “philanthro-capitalists” who are creating “digital dictatorships” in order to add to their own already obscene wealth.
The French TV reporter thinks Shiva’s theories are “over the top.” We’ll let you decide.
Read and watch ‘Bill Gates is Continuing the Work of Monsanto: Vandana Shiva Calls Out Billionaire Philanthropist in French TV Interview’
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Smithfield Sued for Falsely Advertising Themselves as ‘Safest’ U.S. Pork Products
EPA Thumbs Nose at Court Order, Says Farmers Can Still Use Illegal Dicamba Herbicides
Save the Insects, Save the Farmers, Save Ourselves: New Global Report Calls for End of Industrial Agriculture
Omission of Air Pollution From Report on Covid-19 and Race ‘Astonishing’
As Food Supply Chain Breaks Down, Farm-To-Door CSAs Take Off
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