Animal Welfare Approved

The Big Picture

Big Ag’s Gifts for 2014

By Andrew Gunther | December 24, 2014

It’s a tradition of mine to write a note of sincere gratitude to Big Ag for the many “gifts” they’ve bestowed upon us all over the past 12 months relating to food animal production. Gifts that we didn’t really want, need, or—in some cases—didn’t even know about. Here’s my top 10 for 2014.

This Thanksgiving, Eat Like A Pilgrim

By Animal Welfare Approved | November 25, 2014

Here at AWA, we’ve been thinking a lot about this special holiday and how we may have more in common with our ancestors than we think. Upon arriving in America, the early pilgrims ate what was locally available (granted, they didn’t have an alternative!). This happened to be animals that ranged and foraged in the woods and pastures, eating a diet specific to their natural needs and free from non-therapeutic antibiotics or added hormones. Sounds like a Certified AWA farm, doesn’t it? Meat, dairy, and eggs from animals raised outdoors on pasture or range is better for you, better for farmers, and better for the planet all great reasons to give thanks.

Joint Letter to the Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef Executive Committee

By Animal Welfare Approved | November 19, 2014

While the GRSB states that it has deliberately avoided outlining indicators, metrics or practices on the basis they are “only applicable in a narrow range of environments and systems and therefore need to be developed at the local level,” we believe that in order to be credible, any further local and international work in this area must properly tackle the following fundamental limitations of the GRSB’s Principles and Criteria report—and the industrial beef production model itself.

Let’s Kill “Natural”

By Andrew Gunther | July 3, 2014

A new report by Consumer Reports is calling on the U.S. Department for Agriculture and U.S. Food and Drugs Administration to kill off one of the most misleading — and downright contemptible — claims you’ll find on food packaging today.

Industry Assurances Over Drug Safety Found To Be Misleading?

By Andrew Gunther | October 3, 2013

Yet another industry assurance about the safety of the controversial practices used in intensive livestock production has been exposed as a falsehood.

Hot on the heels of recent public health and environmental scares associated with industrial livestock farming—including the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, ractopamine residues in pork, and arsenic residues in poultry meat—new scientific research on an anabolic steroid which is routinely used in industrial beef production in the U.S. is causing alarm.

Why Walmart Must Help to End Antibiotic Abuse In Farming

By Andrew Gunther | September 20, 2013
Injection Needle  - Ractopamine

In this era of uninformed, “silver bullet” solutions to the plague that is industrial farming, it’s great to see that Dan Imhoff—the author of the seminal book CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories—is making a stand against the reckless abuse of antibiotics in industrial livestock production. And he’s making real sense, too.

In a bold move, Imhoff has launched a new public petition which targets the largest—and yet possibly the most responsive—player when it comes to U.S. meat production and consumption: Walmart, our nation’s largest retailer.

Big Ag’s Bullying Tactics to Stop Meatless Monday are a Disgrace

By Andrew Gunther | July 3, 2013

Talk about paranoia: I’ve just read that the catering company which runs the various cafeterias on Capitol Hill is stopping its promotion of “Meatless Mondays.” The reason? An intensive meat industry front group, the entertainingly-named Farm Animal Welfare Coalition, has pressurized the catering company to cease supporting Meatless Monday on the basis that the promotion is actually an “acknowledged tool of animal rights and environmental organizations.”

Unauthorized GM Wheat Exposes The Insanity of Open-Air Field Trials

By Andrew Gunther | June 5, 2013

Unapproved, unwanted, and now out of control: the news that an unlicensed genetically modified (GM) wheat has been found growing on a field in Oregon – almost 10 years after it was supposed to have completely destroyed – sent shivers down my spine.

I’ve been blogging about the known and unknown risks of GM crops for a while. But we are now witnessing a real ‘escape-from-the-laboratory’ nightmare and, in a worst-case scenario, the impacts on U.S. agriculture could be truly devastating.

Smithfield Sellout: Will Americans Pay the Price?

By Andrew Gunther | May 30, 2013
Pigs in Crate

Well, it’s official: the United States of America is on its way to becoming China’s cesspool. Or the world’s largest “CAFO”…

As reported by almost every major media outlet, Smithfield Foods – the nation’s biggest pork producer – is being sold to Shuanghui International, one of China’s biggest meat processors, for $7.1 billion (including assumed debts). According to the New York Times, it’s the largest takeover to date of an American company by a Chinese rival.

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