Mmmm....pork with a side of strep

Another reason why factory farming and subsequent antibiotic injections don't work. If being gored in the leg by a live pig can cause a strain of strep, wouldn't you second guess your decision to ingest conventional meats? Russ Kremer, the farmer interviewed for the article, can also be seen here in a clip from "Fresh, The Movie":



Some individuals are coming to the same conclusion as Kremer - hopefully without the injury part - and taking their findings to lawmakers. The AP writes:
Renewed pressure is on from Capitol Hill from [Rep. Louise M.] Slaughter's [D-N.Y.] bill and new rules discussed in regulatory agencies. There is also pressure from trade issues: The European Union and other developed countries have adopted strong limits against antibiotics. Russia recently banned pork imports from two U.S. plants after detecting levels of tetracycline that the USDA said met American standards.

Farmers and drugmakers are battling back. Pharmaceutical companies have spent $135 million lobbying so far this year, and agribusiness companies another $70 million, on a handful of issues including fighting the proposed new limits. Opponents, many from farm states, say Slaughter's law is misguided.

"Chaos will ensue," said Kansas Republican Congressman Jerry Moran. "The cultivation of crops and the production of food animals is an immensely complex endeavor involving a vast range of processes. We raise a multitude of crops and livestock in numerous regions, using various production methods. Imagine if the government is allowed to dictate how all of that is done."

He's backed by an array of powerful interests, including the American Farm Bureau, the National Pork Producers Council, Eli Lilly & Co., Bayer AG, Pfizer Inc., Schering-Plough Corp., Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto Company, who have repeatedly defeated similar legislation.
Look at all of Congressman Moran's friends. The immense complexity of which Congressman Moran is referring can largely be alleviated by more transparency in the meat industry, as well as greater scrutiny placed on the relationship between pharmaceutical companies and agribusiness by the media and individuals.

It's unfortunate that so many large companies and politicians still place profit and political clout before their commitment to those who keep them employed. The government exists for a reason, and, sure, the USDA hasn't been as stringent as it could be when it comes to food safety and, in the past, our lawmakers have been slow to act. But, continued improvement of the regulatory process coupled with thoughtful advocacy of and action by our elected officials can only ensure that Americans can both eat food that is safe and trust the their best interests are at heart.

Also, wouldn't it behoove agribusiness companies to do further testing of antibiotics and/or remove them from the food production system to prevent killing off their customer base? Just a thought.