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Beef

Water for Livestock

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January 20  |  antibiotics, Beef, Business Opportunity, Case Studies, Dairy, Farm, Farmers, Immune System, Latest News, Livestock, Nutrition, Pork, Poultry, safe drinking water, testimonials  |   Webmaster

Providing enough quality water is essential for good livestock husbandry.

Water makes up 80% of the blood, regulates body temperature and is vital for organ functions such as digestion, waste removal, the absorption of nutrients (feed conversion), lactation, and much more. Understanding daily livestock watering needs is key when designing a livestock watering system.

The daily water requirement of livestock varies significantly depending on animal species, size and growth stage. Environmental aspects as well as the QUALITY of water, also impact the amount of water intake. PUROXI improves the quality of your water and delivery systems ensuring your livestock will drink the recommended amount.

Click on the links below for additional information, facts, and articles of interest. You can also use the Search function tool (top right corner) to find items of interest.

Water Requirements for Livestock

Advantages of PUROXI Water Treatment

Product brochures for various species

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Water for Beef Cattle

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January 20  |  Beef, Farm, Farmers, Latest News, Livestock, Nutrition, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

Adequate clean fresh water is the cornerstone to animal husbandry.

Cows (& calves) need plenty of quality drinking water, especially during the hot summer months. Water consumption increases proportionately as ambient temperature increases above 40 F degrees. Also, lactation increases the amount of water required by beef cows.

An adequate source of fresh, clean, good-tasting water will ensure that the cows drink as much water as they need, resulting in good feed conversion and lactation.

For detailed information from various qualified sources, please click on the links below. You can also use our Search box feature at the top right corner of the page, to access many other studies, reports, and articles of interest.

Water for Beef Cattle

Organic Cow-Calf Testimonial

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FDA voluntary guidelines to restrict non-therapeutic use of antibiotics

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July 13  |  antibiotics, Beef, Farm, Farmers, food safety, Immune System, Latest News, Livestock, Nutrition, Pork, Poultry, Research  |   Webmaster

In December, the FDA asked animal health companies to voluntarily stop using antibiotics to promote growth of meatier cows, pigs, and other livestock.  This is known as non-therapeutic use.

According to a recent report by the FDA, 25 sponsors confirmed in writing their intent to engage with FDA as defined in Guidance #213 and have given FDA consent to list their names in this update.  These 25 sponsors hold 99.6 percent of the applications affected by Guidance #213 and include subsidiaries of Bayer and Eli-Lilly.

Click here for a complete list of companies represented.

The guidelines are meant to thwart the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, which some scientists blame on antibiotics in the food supply. Drug-resistant bacteria strike 2 million Americans a year and cause 23,000 deaths, according to the CDC. The FDA has long been under fire for failing to keep a lid on antibiotic use in farm animals. In January, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a report containing evidence that the FDA’s scientists were aware of 18 farm antibiotics that posed a high risk of spawning antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 

However, critics claim that 89 percent of antibiotic drugs that the guidelines advise against using to speed growth can still be given to healthy animals for other reasons, such as disease prevention. They also contend that since the system is voluntary, it gives the pharamaceutical companies too much discretion and leeway in conducting their own policy and enforcement methods, especially on large factory farms, and with easily obtained OTC (over the counter) drugs.  Critics are demanding a complete ban on antibiotics/ antimicrobials for non-therapeutic use.

Following is a link to a recent Reuters News article which offers a well-balanced summary of this story.

Reuters U.S. Edition – March 27, 2014.
 

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Health Canada restricts antibiotics

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July 13  |  antibiotics, Beef, Editorial, Farm, Farmers, food safety, Immune System, Opinion, Pork, Poultry, Press Release, Research  |   Webmaster

Health Canada restricts use of antibiotics for growth in livestock

In an effort to curb drug-resistant superbugs, Health Canada is restricting the use of antibiotics in livestock.

Producers will no longer be allowed to continuously feed animals low-level doses as a way to promote growth.

Dr. Trisha Dowling, a pharmacologist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says penicillin and tetracycline have long been fed to livestock in order to reduce the workload of animals’ immune systems, thereby causing them to grow faster using less feed.

She says in many cases, products specifically marketed as growth-promotants are older drugs that have fallen out of use in humans as bacteria have developed resistance.

The rules do still allow in-feed antibiotics as a preventative measure against disease.

Dowling says that in many cases, the exception means business-as-usual for producers.

She says this was especially true in the poultry industry, where improved growth is essentially a side benefit for producers using the drugs to prevent infections that can wipe out whole barns if they get a foothold.

“If you don’t put (antibiotics) in the feed, and you wait until you get an outbreak of necrotic enteritis, you’ve got a lot of dead birds and you’ve lost a lot of money,” she said.

On the cattle side, Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association CEO Craig Douglas said most producers don’t feed antibiotics.

“Without singling out any other industry — it’s other sectors where that’s been more of a standard procedure,” he said.

Douglas said most ranchers only reach for the antibiotics when an animal is clearly unwell.

“They’re not medicating their animals unless their sick,” he said, adding that costs as high as $500 per animal tends to keep the use of injected antibiotics in check.

~ The Canadian Press – Friday, July 11, 2014

 

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Antibiotics in Meat

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July 18  |  antibiotics, Beef, Editorial, Farm, food safety, Latest News, Opinion, Reports, Tests  |   Webmaster

The resistance to over-use of antibiotics is gaining steam throughout North America after the recent release of a detailed study by Consumers Report.  Apparently 82% of those surveyed said that they would buy antibiotic-free meat and poultry if it were available. This sounds quite convincing and seems to endorse the position of the Consumers Union and its supporters:  (FixFood, Consumers Union, Center for Food Safety, Natural Resources Defense Council, etc.)

However, closer inspection reveals that it was 82% of the 24% of respondents who said that the stores where they shopped did not offer antibiotic-free meat/poultry.  That in fact amounts to less than 20% of the total people surveyed.

Most large cattle ranchers and hog and chicken farmers put antibiotics in  either feed or water to help their livestock process food more efficiently and  to bulk up faster.  Veterinarians and cattle experts argue that using small doses of antibiotics  as a preventive measure cuts the risk of an animal getting sick by 25 percent to  50 percent.

But many scientists and medical doctors believe giving antibiotics to animals  when they are not sick contributes to more drug-resistant infections, known as “superbugs” in humans.  The most recent data used by the “no antibiotics” camp is a 2002 report released by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.  It states that the “vast majority” of the 99,000 people who died from hospital-acquired infections, were caused by antibiotic-resistant infections.

Undoubtedly, this debate will rage on for some time.  It may even become a political hot button approaching the November primaries.  For more information on this topic, we have listed some links below. 

http://pressroom.consumerreports.org/pressroom/2012/06/consumer-reports-poll-majority-of-americans-want-meat-raised-without-antibiotics-sold-at-local-supermarkets.html

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/06/antibiotics-are-widely-used-by-u-s-meat-industry/index.htm

http://notinmyfood.org/press_release/consumers-union-launches-marketplace-campaign-for-meat-raised-without-antibiotics

http://www.meatwithoutdrugs.org/#the-issue

Also, for those who prefer to examine their options, we have included a real-time map of farms, markets, eateries and retailers who serve meat raised without excessive use of antibiotics.

http://www.realtimefarms.com/fixantibiotics

http://blog.realtimefarms.com/2012/06/21/real-time-farms-powers-the-fixantibiotics-food-finder/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog

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Editor’s Note:

Oxy Blast customers report drastic reduction in the need to use  anitbiotics and report improved health and weight gains in all species.

 

 

 

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Mad Cow (BSE)

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April 30  |  Beef, Editorial, Farm, food safety, Latest News, Livestock, Opinion  |   Webmaster

There has been a lot of media attention on the recent discovery in California of a case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).

BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) is a progressive neurological  and eventually fatal disease of cattle; its symptoms are similar to a disease of sheep, called scrapie. BSE has been called “mad cow disease.”  Scientists say the disease is spread through feed that contains brain or spinal cord tissue from infected animals. People can get it from eating products containing such tissues, including head cheese. However, since 1997, feed made from mammals has been banned from cattle rations, and high-risk materials such as brains have been kept from the human food supply, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This recent case is not typical. It was found in an older animal and  it was never destined to be part of the human food chain. The California cow tested positive for so-called atypical BSE, which the Agriculture Department said isn’t generally associated with an animal consuming infected feed. Such cases can occur spontaneously in older animals, according to the department.  There have been many criticisms about how the FDA handled the communication of this particular discovery, but the main point here is that the system worked.

Once again, we remind our readers to do their own research and examine all sides of the issue before forming their own opinion, instead of accepting the media hype and adding to the rumor mill, which tends to blow everything out of proportion.  Let’s not propagate more uninformed doomsday panic like we had with LFTB (aka “pink slime”).

For those interested, following are links to news stories, editorials, and opinions from various sides of the issue, to help you develop an informed and intelligent perspective.       – ed.


http://usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2012

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-26

http://www.whsv.com/home/headlines

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/04/

http://www.cbsnews.com/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/24/

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Veterinary Group Reaffirms Support for Antibiotics Use

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April 23  |  antibiotics, Beef, Dairy, Editorial, Farm, food safety, Immune System, Latest News, Livestock, Nutrition, Pork, Poultry, Research  |   Webmaster

While there are many sides and opinions to this ongoing debate, we are in full agreement with the following article. As stated in the AVMA statement, it  supports the prudent use of antibiotics: “The judicious use of antimicrobials plays a key role in preserving the health of our nation’s food animals and the safety of our nation’s food supply. Many agree that there is a need for greater veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in food-producing animals, and the AVMA is currently working with the FDA to develop practical means to increase this veterinary oversight.” 

In other words, prudent use of antibiotics and other microbial products, should be made only when necessary, and not indiscriminately in feeds or in any other attempt to prevent illness and disease.  As medically and scientifically proven, the over-exposure to antibiotics eventually increases our resistance to them, thus diminishing their effectiveness and leaving us even more susceptible to infection and disease.  The key here is the definition of “productive uses” and the need for more direct involvement of the AVMA in advising and regulating the use of antibiotics and antimicrobials.

As mentioned in previous posts, any wide-encompassing and long-term policies should be “based on solid science and risk-based assessment, and not on anecdotal reports and speculation.” (sic)  (as evidenced by the recent uproar of LFTB).

Following is the full text of the statement by the American Veterinary Medical Association …

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reaffirmed its support of the responsible use of antibiotics in food animals after a federal court ruling demanded that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) start proceedings to withdraw approval of certain uses of antibiotics used in food production.

United States Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz ruled March 22 that the FDA must start proceedings to withdraw approval of what the FDA currently refers to as “production uses” of penicillins and tetracyclines in food-producing animals. As part of the withdrawal process, manufacturers of the products can request hearings to allow them to provide scientific evidence that the production use of antimicrobial products does not pose a threat to public health.

“The AVMA acknowledges the growing concern regarding antimicrobial use and resistance in animals and people, and supports the judicious use of antimicrobials to maximize public and animal health benefits while minimizing risks,” says AVMA Chief Executive Officer Ron DeHaven. “The judicious use of antimicrobials plays a key role in preserving the health of our nation’s food animals and the safety of our nation’s food supply. Many agree that there is a need for greater veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in food-producing animals, and the AVMA is currently working with the FDA to develop practical means to increase this veterinary oversight.”

DeHaven cautions, however, that any decision to withdraw approval or ban any antimicrobial uses should be based on solid science and risk-based assessment, and not on anecdotal reports and speculation.

“It is crucial that safe and effective antimicrobials remain available for use in veterinary medicine to ensure the health and welfare of animals and, consequently, the health of humans,” DeHaven says. “The AVMA will continue to work closely with the FDA to formulate a sound, science-based strategy to deal with this complex issue.”

The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 82,500 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities. For more information about the AVMA, visit www.avma.org.


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Animal Antibiotics Over-use

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April 22  |  antibiotics, Beef, Farm, food safety, Immune System, Latest News, News, Pork, Poultry, Reports, Tests  |   Webmaster

Following is one of the first major media stories exposing the threat to human health of the over-use of antibiotics in livestock, presented by Katie Couric with CBS. It is still compelling, in light of the recently announced FDA guidelines.

“It’s scary, I mean, you just can’t describe it really,” said Bill Reeves.

Two years ago, 46-year-old Bill Reeves, who worked at a poultry processing plant in Batesville, Arkansas, developed a lump under his right eye.

“It went from about the size of a mosquito bite to about the size of a grapefruit,” he said.

CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric reports doctors tried several drugs that usually work on this potentially deadly infection: methicillin resistant staph or MRSA – before one saved his life.

WebMD: MSRA

“You go from a just regular day to knowing you may die in a couple of hours,” Reeves said.

He wasn’t the only worker from this farming community to get sick. Joyce Long worked at the hatchery, handling eggs and chicks. She got MRSA at least a dozen times, and had to try several drugs as well.

“It was real painful. Shots don’t help, because it’s so infected, it don’t help much,” she said.

Within weeks, 37 people at the hatchery got sick. They’ve filed personal injury claims against the company, Pilgrims Pride, which has no comment.

This is not an isolated incident and chickens aren’t the only concern. A University of Iowa studylast year, found a new strain of MRSA — in nearly three-quarters of hogs (70 percent), and nearly two-thirds of the workers (64 percent) — on several farms in Iowa and Western Illinois. All of them use antibiotics, routinely. On antibiotic-free farms no MRSA was found.

To read the rest of the story and view the CBS video, follow this link:

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_162-6191530.html

 

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FDA guidelines for antimicrobial use

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April 21  |  antibiotics, Beef, Dairy, Farm, food safety, Immune System, Latest News, Nutrition  |   Webmaster

FDA Publishes Guidances to Limit Use of Antimicrobials (antibiotics) in Livestock Production

Apr. 13, 2012 12:48pm

    • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a series of three documents in the Federal Register today as part of an effort to alter the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals. 

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National Pork Board

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a series of three documents in the Federal Register today as part of an effort to alter the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals.

In a statement prior to today’s publication, FDA indicated that the issuance of three new documents will help veterinarians, farmers and animal producers use medically important antibiotics judiciously in food-producing animals by targeting their use to only address diseases and health problems. Under a new voluntary initiative, certain antibiotics would not be used for so-called “production” purposes, such as to enhance growth or improve feed efficiency in an animal. These antibiotics would still be available to prevent, control or treat illnesses in food-producing animals under the supervision of a veterinarian. There will be a three-year “phase in” period before these changes will become effective, but the exact dates of the phase-in period currently remain unspecified.

“It’s critical that we take action to protect public health,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “The new strategy will ensure farmers and veterinarians can care for animals while ensuring the medicines people need remain safe and effective. We are also reaching out to animal producers who operate on a smaller scale or in remote locations to help ensure the drugs they need to protect the health of their animals are still available.”

The three documents published in today’s Federal Register include:

·         A final guidance for the industry, Guidance 209, “The Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food-Producing Animals,” that recommends phasing out the agricultural production use of medically important drugs and phasing in  veterinary oversight of therapeutic uses of these drugs.

·         A draft guidance, Draft Guidance 213, open for public comment, which will assist drug companies in voluntarily removing production uses of antibiotics from their FDA-approved product labels; adding, where appropriate, scientifically-supported disease prevention, control and treatment uses; and changing the marketing status to include veterinary oversight.

·         A draft proposed Veterinary Feed Directive regulation, open for public comment, that outlines ways that veterinarians can authorize the use of certain animal drugs in feed, which is important to make the needed veterinary oversight feasible and efficient.

FDA’s guidance documents do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities. Instead, guidance documents are meant to describe the FDA’s current thinking on a topic. As the American Association of Swine Veterinarians pointed out in a news release, it should be noted that FDA intends to work with drug manufacturers to remove label indications for growth promotion and feed efficiency from products considered important for human health. Once these products are no longer labeled for production uses, it will be illegal for veterinarians or producers to utilize medicated feeds for these purposes.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is concerned that lost and restricted access to antimicrobial products expected to result from these steps likely will disproportionately affect small producers, have a negative effect on animal health, and increase the cost of producing food while not improving public health.  NPPC makes the point that this action is a move to address an increase in antibiotic-resistant illnesses in humans, which opponents of modern animal agriculture blame on the use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry production. 

However, numerous peer-reviewed risk assessments, including at least one by FDA, show a “negligible” risk to human health of antibiotics in food-animal production, according to NPPC.

Tom Talbot, a California beef producer, veterinarian and current chairman of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Cattle Health and Well-Being Committee, issued a statement that raises key points on this issue. “Antimicrobial resistance is a multifaceted, extremely complex issue that cannot be adequately addressed solely by focusing on the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture. Prudent and responsible evaluation of this issue must consider animal, human and industrial use of antibiotics. While we appreciate the agency working with industry on the implementation of Guidance 209, we remain committed that a strong science foundation is critical before moving forward with this guidance,” he states.

John Clifford, DVM, USDA Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, says, “USDA worked with FDA to ensure that the voices of livestock producers across the country were taken into account, and we will continue to collaborate with the FDA, the American Veterinary Medical Association and livestock groups to ensure that the appropriate services are available to help make this transition.”

FDA is currently accepting comments on Draft Guidance 213 and on the Veterinary Feed Directive document. Submit comments on these documents by the date provided in the Federal Register notice announcing the availability of the Draft Guidance (July 12, 2012). Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submit electronic comments on the draft guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Identify all comments with the docket number listed in the notice of availability that publishes in the Federal Register.

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LFTB

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April 21  |  Beef, Editorial, food safety, Latest News, Nutrition, Opinion, Research  |   Webmaster

Lean Finely Textured Beef vs. Pink Slime

 

So, what’s all the fuss about “Pink Slime”?  Lean Finely Textured Beef has been used as an additive to ground beef for years, without so much as a whimper or whisper from the politicians, watchdogs, or general public.   Unfortunately, an opinionated poorly-researched blog went viral and the media got hold of it, combined with even more misinformation, escalated this non-story into a major headline that lasted for days.  In the old days, exaggerated, persistent gossip and innuendo (“nudge, nudge, wink, wink”) could eventually lead a person or company to ruin and disrepute.  Nowadays, we have the power of the internet and social media to spread gossip and opinionated misinformation as if they were on super steroids. 

Here is a well-balanced article from a beef industry advocate.  We hope that you enjoy this and the additional links at the bottom of the page.  Your comments are always welcome and we encourage all of you to do your own research and investigation before jumping on the “Doomsday Bandwagon”.   – ed.

 

Make Room For A Bigger, Badder Foe

by Troy Marshall in My View From The Country

Apr. 20, 2012 9:25am

Anti-modern, anti-capitalist, anti-technology groups are quickly becoming the largest threat to animal production.

Boxed-beef prices rallied substantially early this week, bringing some stability back to the beef markets as the peak grilling season gets underway. Analysts say the rally was confirmation that the media-fueled frenzy over lean finely textured beef (LFTB) is waning.  

I haven’t seen any official estimates of what this PR disaster cost the industry, but we do know that hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars were sucked out of the system in the last few weeks. This wasn’t an accident, either; it was a well conceived and orchestrated campaign that utilized an unwitting media to whip the firestorm.   In fact, the campaign’s success probably greatly exceeded the wildest expectations of a faction that’s quickly becoming one of the most threatening alliances against agriculture. This faction encompasses a passel of anti-modern, anti-capitalist, anti-technology groups masterful at creating buzzwords and narratives that obscure their true agenda while rallying well-intentioned consumers and voters to their side.  

The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) used to be the master of this strategy; that is, attracting hundreds of millions of dollars from people who actually believe their contributions support animal shelters and help abused animals. Instead, they fund a war chest to battle livestock production.   The animal welfare movement also is masterful at using groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to paint an extreme view. That way, a more mainstream group like HSUS can appear more center-based when it pushes for radical policy.  

The anti-market, anti-modern folks do it a little differently, however. They believe in government control of the marketplace, and replacing the market and industry institutions they view as supportive of the industry. To do this, they understand they must affect policy, which entails shaping public opinion. They do this by using the media and populist rhetoric to create “moral” perceptions in order to shape policy that is continually evolving in their direction.   Stepping back, one has to admire their success. They’ve used words like “pink slime” and “factory farming” masterfully.  

• The fact is that most people aren’t opposed to a product like LFTB, which reduces costs to consumers, raises prices for producers, and improves the safety and healthfulness of beef; but everyone can hate the concept of “pink slime.”  

• In addition, nearly everyone can line up to oppose factory farming and multinational large-scale food production entities. Most of these same people, however, don’t understand that these groups define a “factory farm” as any entity large enough to be economically viable, or that uses modern technology to produce a higher-quality product more efficiently.  

These groups champion the little guy, and even get some producers to stand with them. They also castigate the government and government involvement on issues they believe will increase the competitiveness of the industry while, at the same time, pleading for government intervention, rather than letting the marketplace function.   It’s the same concept that the Occupy Wall Street movement employs, which is to create an enemy that is perceived to be a dramatic minority or that is part of the “establishment.”  

In fact, these anti-meat groups are successful enough that their message is almost becoming mainstream in the minds of consumers in regard to animal production. Packers are held up to be inherently evil; confined animal feeding units are immoral; and large-scale production is wrong, as is the implementation of modern technologies in food production.   These groups will ally themselves with any group that opposes animal production; yet, they’re not perceived as affiliated with those groups, which increases their credibility. They’ve even been successful in attracting to their cause some producers who don’t understand that they are working for their own demise.

It’s for these reasons that these anti-modern, anti-capitalist, anti-technology groups are quickly becoming the largest threat to animal production.

As a fulltime rancher, Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how various consumer and political trends affect livestock production.

Click here for the original article  http://beefmagazine.com/blog/make-room-bigger-badder-foe

Following are links from various sources covering differing viewpoints …

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/03/28/chris-selley-pink-slime-is-benign/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/pink-slime-outrage-goes-viral

http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Pink+Slime+controversy

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/

http://www.cattlenetwork.com/cattle-news/Science-must-guide-ag-policy

 

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