Sep 202010
Authors: Emily Moreland – graduate student of communication studies

Given the nationwide attention that’s been recently paid to the inhumane and unethical factory-farming practices in our country, I am quite frankly shocked at the claims made in Robyn Scherer’s editorial on the meat industry. To quote Scherer: “Animals that are used for meat are treated incredibly humanely and are not for even one minute tortured.” If it were just organizations like PETA that were making claims about the unethical and dangerous way we produce meat in this country I could begin to understand Scherer’s complete disregard of reality. However, with headlines like “Egg Farms Violated Safety Rules” (New York Times), “Ex-Pig Farm Manager Charged With Cruelty” (The Washington Post) and “Swine Flu and Factory Farming” (US News and World Report), it’s clear that the dangers of factory farming (by far the most common farming practice in America today) are not being exaggerated.

The main problem with Scherer’s editorial is that her claims are not in line with current research, which is evidenced by her erroneous assertion that “every major processing facility has USDA inspectors who are responsible for monitoring everything in the processing facility.” According to a recent article in the New York Times titled “Former Egg Farm Workers Say Complaints Ignored,” “The USDA currently has an egg surveillance program in which inspectors visit packing facilities four times a year to ensure eggs are properly graded, but they don’t go into hen houses.” Shortfalls in the current FDA and USDA inspection protocols have been noted by Congress and the Obama administration and are being addressed to avoid further outbreaks of diseases caused largely by our nation’s unsanitary and unethical farming practices.

 Posted by at 6:38 pm

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