Category Archives: Farming and Health

Join The Organic Rebellion!

This thing is funny as hell, but its message is extremely important:
non-organic food can be bad for your health.
It’s sad to me that, instead of regulating our “regular” food so it’s safe (doesn’t contain pesticides, hormones, or other harmful ingredients), we’ve sort of given up on our regular food and decided to try to start up a brand of “healthy” food that won’t hurt us.


The Announcement That Started It All: FDA Says Meat, Milk from Cloned Animals Safe

Note that the FDA thinks cloned animals won’t be used much for meat because of their high price tag. Of course, now we know that, since this story was released, the price is starting to go down already (and sales are way up).

FDA Says Meat, Milk from Cloned Animals Safe

By Randy Fabi for Reuters.

Milk and meat products from cloned cattle, pigs and goats are safe for consumers to eat, according to a Food and Drug Administration document obtained by Reuters on Thursday.
The FDA findings bring the agency one step closer to determining whether to allow the commercialization of food from cloned animals. A final policy decision is expected next year.
Cloned animals — which are genetically identical — are attractive to the industry because ranchers are able to keep their favorite livestock, providing better tasting meat and more milk and eggs.
“Edible products from normal, healthy clones or their progeny do not appear to pose increased food consumption risk,” said the 12-page executive summary of an FDA report. A copy of the report was provided to Reuters by an industry source.
The FDA is expected to release the executive summary of the new report on Friday. The entire report will be released at a later date…
Some consumer groups have urged the FDA to address the moral and ethical concerns of animal cloning before approving its commercialization.
If the FDA does allow it, consumers are most likely to purchase meat and milk from the offspring of cloned animals, the agency said. Their parents will probably not be slaughtered for food because of their high price tag.
A cloned calf can sell for as much as $82,000. An average calf sells for less than $1,000.
Food from the offspring of cloned animals were the most likely to enter the U.S. food supply, the FDA said.

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Organic Farmers Blast FDA’s Careless Decision To Allow Cloned Animal Meat Without Warning Labels

Organic Valley Blasts F.D.A. Support for Animal Cloning; Warns People are not Guinea Pigs

In Yahoo News.

Today’s statement of support for animal cloning by the F.D.A. was swiftly condemned by Organic Valley, one of the nation’s foremost organic brands and the only one to be 100 percent farmer owned.
“By allowing foods from cloned animals into the food system without proof of their long-term effects on human, animal and environmental health, the F.D.A. is not protecting the consumer. The F.D.A. is furthering their support of the abhorrent attempt by corporate interests to control the genes of our citizenry,” warned George Siemon, CEO of Organic Valley.
“American families should not be guinea pigs for corporate greed! Contrary to what the F.D.A. says, there is no level of ‘acceptable risk’ when it comes to putting unproven science on the table for dinner,” said Siemon, in reference to the F.D.A.’s pro-cloning rationale.
Siemon noted that once man-made species are introduced into the environment there is no “calling them back.” He explained: “Whether it’s genetically engineered crops cross pollinating with wild weeds, genetically modified salmon breeding with wild fish, or future concerns with clone mammals, the risks to the balance in ecosystems worldwide are great.”
Consumers Need Animal Cloning Warning Labels
According to the F.D.A., products from cloned animals, like products that have been genetically engineered, do not need to carry a warning label on the package.
“Citizens deserve the right to know what is in their food and how it has been produced,” said Siemon. “At least if the product is labeled as being from cloned animals, consumers can have a choice.”

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Cloned Cattle Sales Way Up

Sales of cloned cattle multiply

For the Associated Press (as published in the Houston Chronicle).

Cattle are quietly being cloned and sold for high prices as the livestock industry anticipates government approval for letting their offspring into the food chain, industry officials said.
Meat or milk derived from healthy cloned farm animals appears safe to eat, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday in its first attempt at assessing questions about the emerging technology.
The FDA is still trying to decide if cloned farm animals will require government approval before being sold as food. That decision is expected to take another year.
The cattle industry has voluntarily agreed to keep products from cloned animals out of the food supply. But in the meantime, there already are as many as 300 cloned bulls in existence, said Lisa Dryer of Biotechnology Industry Organization, a Washington lobbying group.
And an Austin-based biotech firm, ViaGen, said Friday that a cow cloned from a prodigious producing animal was auctioned for $170,000 in Iberia, Mo…
ViaGen President Scott Davis said “thousands and thousands” of units of frozen semen from hundreds of cloned bulls are being stockpiled around the country, ready for sale to cattle breeders when the FDA issues its new guidelines.
He said ViaGen is working with Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest hog processor and producer, to use cloning to create more productive and faster-growing pigs. Even if the company saves just a dollar or less per pig, “multiply that by 10 million,” he said.
And Scott Davis, not related to Ernie Davis, said cloning likely will become even more accessible and profitable in the future as the cost to clone an animal falls.

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Meatrix Cartoon Explains How Factory Farming Affects Your Health

I’d never even heard of “factory farming” until a few months ago, when a friend of mine who I meet for lunch a lot insisted on only eating at certain restaurants that serve organically-grown meat. It was horrific thinking about the stuff he was telling me, and I wanted to know more.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reading a lot of scary stories about the FDA approving cloned animals for public consumption. It seems to me that there’s no way for the FDA to be sure of anything with regard to even the short term effects of humans eating cloned animals, much less the long term effects that, theoretically, would have to be explored in depth before such meat was allowed in to the open market.
So anyway, that’s why I’m starting a “Farming and Health” category. This shit’s getting pretty frightening, and enough is enough. I don’t know what we can really do about it yet, but I do feel that I have to help get the word out somehow.
Then, this morning, another friend sent me this wonderful animation that explains the factory farming situation in great detail. It’s funny as hell too.

The Meatrix

There’s a bunch of good information at the end about what you can do to help fight this stuff. More articles on this soon (and the relationship between factory farming and the cloning stuff).