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Scientists Frustrated by Factory Farms: Scientific Evidence of Their Non-Sustainability Mounts

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's CAFO's vs. Free Range Page.

Professor Robert Lawrence is in a select company of researchers.

"I think the only other group of scientists who probably are more frustrated than we are, are the climate scientists," Lawrence said in a recent telephone call.

Lawrence is director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future in Baltimore, Md., where he also holds the title of the Center for a Livable Future Professor in Environmental Health Sciences Professor, Departments of Environmental Health Sciences, Health Policy and Management, and International Health Director. The Center's mission is to engage "in research, policy analysis, education, advocacy and other activities guided by an ecologic perspective that diet, food production, the environment, and public health are interwoven elements of a single complex system."

The reason for the phone call was a March 27 letter Lawrence and five colleagues sent to the group Kewaunee Cares regarding health and environmental concerns of manure from intensive livestock operations.

The letter began:  "We are writing to present some of the concerns associated with the generation and management of manure from intensive livestock operations, particularly regarding the health of Wisconsin's rural citizens. These health and environmental concerns include:

• The spread of infectious disease, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria, to nearby communities.

• Groundwater and surface water pollution, and associated health and ecological impacts.

• Air pollution, odors, and associated health and social impacts.

The letter included 67 citations of peer-reviewed scientific literature.

The reason for Lawrence's scientific frustration is that despite a growing body of evidence that shows the environmental and health consequences of intensive livestock operations, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) continue to pop up on the landscape.   
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