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Former Undersecretary of Agriculture for Food Safety Speaks Out for Animal Ag

July 30, 2014
The Former Undersecretary of Agriculture for Food Safety, Dr. Richard Raymond, recently argued for greater support around animal ag technology as a  tool that can help feed a rapidly growing world population. published his piece Animal Ag Needs Safe Technologies to Feed Growing Population.
"The key word is SAFE. Technology must be safe for the animals, for us humans and for our environment or I will not endorse it.

"Many anti-animal agriculture folks talk a lot about how bad the 'factory farms' and their use of technology to gain weight or milk production are for the animals’ health and ours.

"But I wonder if they really think about all the technology that has gone into making modern day animal husbandry what it is?

"....the Rural Electrification Act. FDR signed this into law in 1935 with Senator Norris from Nebraska standing at his side.

"Now surely the anti-animal ag group cannot complain about this technology.

"We have better housing and climate control, better and safer transportation for animals, better feeding regimens and selective breeding to increase positive traits and eliminate unhealthy traits.

"We have vaccines to prevent disease, probiotics and prebiotics along with Phages that not only help animals remain disease free, but also help reduce pathogens that can cause foodborne illnesses.

"The animal agriculture industry uses antibiotics approved by the FDA to not only treat disease, but also to control and prevent disease, keeping their animals healthy and productive.

"We do the same in human medicine. We use antibiotics to prevent or control disease, but the anti-animal ag voices do not mention that in their rhetoric.

"The industry has beta-agonists at their disposal to produce more efficient weight gain in cattle and pigs, and to a small degree in turkeys. There have been some issues regarding animal well-being that the industry has recognized and changed dosing and handling to virtually eliminate this concern.

"Despite the protests of some, there has never been one human side effect from eating meat from animals finished with beta-agonists approved by the FDA.

"The dairy industry also has rBST available to increase the total milk production per cow by 14 percent per lactation cycle. My personal opinion is that it is sad that major retailers pander to the fringe and do not sell liquid dairy products from cows supplemented with rBST.

"Milk is a vital food for children, and it could be less expensive and more readily available than it currently is by using a very safe technology.

"...Education of policy makers has to be a top priority of the industry to maintain the availability of these technologies that help US Agriculture produce a safe, high quality and affordable product."

BIO 2014 Livestock Biotech Summit

Scientists and researchers are actively engaged in finding ways to improve the care and use of animals in biomedical applications and food production.  Programming at this year’s Livestock Biotech Summit will address new methods for ensuring optimal care and use of agricultural animals for a range of applications.  The 2014 Summit will be held September 16-19, 2014, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.

Don't miss your chance to save - early bird registration

ends on August 29, 2014!