Wednesday, January 7, 2015

CAFO Propaganda?

The US Poultry & Egg Association("USPEA") is a lobbying organization that fronts for the chicken factory farms.  The CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) industry in the US has produced a series of videos, funded by the International Poultry Expo to explain the chicken factory operations typically used in the USA.  The Canadian systems are virtually the same.

Is this video best described as full disclosure in a fair and balanced manner, or industry propaganda?

Listening to Mr. Bredwell (is that his real name?  How appropriate!), I am half convinced by what he says that all is in order for CAFO's, and I can go back to sleep.  Sounds pretty good the way he explains it.

Unfortunately, while he describes the theory, the day to day practices leave a great deal to be desired.  In addition, we must think hard about what he doesn't say.

For example, CAFO's by their very nature, produce mountains of manure that must be disposed.  In addition, their ventilation systems spew polluted chicken factory bioactive dust to everybody down wind.  That means it contains bacteria, viruses, antibiotics, feces, and other contaminants; all over the neighbouring crops, people, and livestock.

I previously blogged about the resulting water pollution, illustrated by Delmarva Penninsula in the North-East USA.  There, chicken operations produce over 90% of the Nitrogen and Phosphorous pollution in land, streams, lakes, and estuaries (see Blog post Buried Alive in Chicken Manure).

What makes it difficult is that there is a grain of truth in everything that he says.  Only by hearing the full story for both sides is the public going to understand what to believe.

That takes a lot of time, patience, and effort; something that is in very short supply in everybody's busy lives.

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