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Food Safety News

Reports: Factory Farms

Reports Found: 8
January 29, 2014

Antibiotic Resistance 101: How Antibiotic Misuse on Factory Farms Can Make You Sick

Antibiotics are critical tools in human medicine. Medical authorities are warning that these life-saving drugs are losing their effectiveness, and there are few replacement drugs in the pipeline. Bacteria evolve in response to the use of antibiotics both in humans and in animals. Those bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics prosper as antibiotics kill the non-resistant bacteria. Once they emerge, antibiotic-resistant (AR) bacteria can transfer AR traits to other bacteria in animals and the environment. The development of antibiotic resistance is hastened by the use of low doses of antibiotics at industrial farms. The drugs are used routinely, not to treat sick animals, but for growth promotion and disease prevention, a practice known as subtherapeutic use.

November 2, 2012

The Economic Cost of Food Monopolies

The agriculture and food sector is unusually concentrated, with just a few companies dominating the market in each link of the food chain. In most sectors of the U.S. economy, the four largest firms control between 40 and 45 percent of the market, and many economists maintain that higher levels of concentration can start to erode competitiveness. Yet according to data compiled by the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2012, in the agriculture and food sector, the four largest companies controlled 82 percent of the beef packing industry, 85 percent of soybean processing, 63 percent of pork packing, and 53 percent of broiler chicken processing.

July 17, 2012

Cultivating Influence: The 2008 Farm Bill Lobbying Frenzy

The 2008 Farm Bill lobbying campaign ranked among the most well-financed legislative fights of the past decade. More than 1,000 companies, trade associations and other groups spent an estimated $173.5 million lobbying on just the 2008 Farm Bill, according to a Food & Water Watch analysis of data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics. During every day that the 100th Congress was in session in 2007 and 2008, special interests spent an average of $539,000 lobbying on issues covered by the Farm Bill.

April 11, 2012

Bad Credit: How Pollution Trading Fails the Environment

For the past 25 years, emissions trading, known more recently as “cap-and-trade,” has been promot­ed as the best strategy for solving pollution prob­lems. Based on an obscure economic theory that gained prominence in the 1960s at the University of Chicago, it was embraced by the Reagan administra­tion as a replacement for regulating air emissions. Since that time, it has gained acceptance among environmental organizations and the largest environmental funders.

November 30, 2010

Factory Farm Nation: How America Turned Its Livestock Farms into Factories

Over the last two decades, small- and medium-scale livestock farms have given way to factory farms that confine thousands of cows, hogs and chickens in tightly packed facilities. Farmers have adopted factory-farming practices largely at the behest of the largest meatpackers, pork processors, poultry companies and dairy processors. The largest of these agribusinesses are practically monopolies, controlling what consumers get to eat, what they pay for groceries and what prices farmers receive for their livestock. This unchecked agribusiness power and misguided farm policies have pressed livestock producers to become significantly larger and adopt more intensive practices. Despite ballooning in size, many livestock producers are just squeezing by because the real price of beef cattle, hogs and milk has been falling for decades.

November 9, 2010
Filed in: ,

Poison-Free Poultry: Why Arsenic Doesn’t Belong in Chicken Feed

U.S. poultry farmers have used drugs containing arsenic, a known poison, to control the common disease coccidiosis for decades. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the arsenic-based drug roxarsone as a feed additive in 1944. The chicken industry discovered that roxarsone promoted growth, increased feed efficiency (pounds of chicken produced from each pound of feed), and improved flesh pigmentation as well. Between 1995 and 2000, 70 percent of broiler chicken producers used roxarsone feed additives.

October 22, 2008
Filed in: , , , | Pages: 16 | Year: 2008

Dairy 101

Youre not getting what you pay for in the dairy aisle these days. While shoppers are led to believe that the milk they purchase comes from tranquil pastures, where farmers watch over happy milk cows grazing on green fields, the reality is not so idyllic. There are some good options in the dairy case, but consumers need to know what to look for.

July 20, 2007
Filed in: , | Pages: 15 | Year: 2007

Turning Farms into Factories

Industrial animal production, the practice of confining thousands of cows, hogs, chickens or other animals in tightly packed facilities has become the dominant method of meat production in the United States. This report, which accompanies Food & Water Watch‚ online map of factory farm animal production, explains the forces that have driven the growth of factory farms, as well as the environmental, public health, and economic consequences of the rise of this type of animal production.