The end of pastured food?
- Theend of pastured food?
Under pressure from Big Ag, the Obama administration is moving forward with plans that could put key segments of the organic industry out of business.
Over the past half-decade the pastured-food industry has grown rapidly in Northern California. Eco-conscious farmers and consumers have increasingly realized that allowing livestock — including cattle, sheep, and chicken — to graze on grasses and eat other foods found naturally in the environment is even better for the planet, and more humane, than most organic practices. In fact, some foodies and environmentalists call pastured food "beyond organic." Yet the Obama administration, facing intense pressure from Big Agriculture, is moving forward with new federal rules that could put some members of the pastured-food industry out of business.
Federal regulators are pushing the proposed new rules, contending that they will limit outbreaks of food-borne illnesses. But critics say the new regulations miss the mark, because there have been no widespread outbreaks linked to pastured food in the United States. They also fail to address the real culprit behind food-borne illnesses: factory farms, in which animals are forced to live in close confinement amid filthy and dangerous conditions that produce deadly pathogens, such as salmonella and E.coli 0157:H7.The new rules also could decimate many mid-sized farms that produce organic fruit and vegetables....