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It’s a Porker

Touch the Soil News #827 (Feature photo – J.D. Bunod – public domain) This year, 2017, Americas some 60,000 pig farmers have been operating under a new antibiotics use law. The new law does not allow pork producers to administer antibiotics that are medically important to humans of their own volition. Instead, the administration of medically important antibiotics to pigs can now only be done with the supervision an approval of a veterinarian. This does, however, not solve the larger public preference of moving to meat totally absent from antibiotic use. Called The FDA Guidance 209 and 213, it seems that pig farmers have adjusted to having more veterinarian oversight…

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The Battle to Control What We Think About Food

Touch the Soil News #219 We’ve all heard the expression putting a “Spin” on information or truth. The “spin” essentially means that by turning and twisting information, you can drop the truth and add false ingredients. We were particularly interested in a report that just came out called “Spinning Food.” The upshot of the report is that Industrial food companies create “Front Groups” that look like legitimate enterprises, but are used to put a “Spin” on the story of food. The authors of the report include Kari Hamerschlag, Anna Lappe and Stacy Malkan with support from Friends of the Earth. Cover of the special Spinning Food report (courtesy of Friends…

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Do Consumers Want Meat From Drugged Animals?

Touch the Soil News #217 In a recent Bloomberg Business article, journalist Andrew Martin followed the trail of Jeff Simmons, President of Elanco. Elanco is in the business of creating and selling drugs for animals, some of which have come under attack by food activists and some scientists and regulators. Elanco had sales of $2.3 billion in 2014, which included sales of a drug called Ractopamine – used to speed up muscle growth in meat animals. The drug has been used in raising as many as 80 percent of U.S. hogs. Smithfield foods, which is the world’s largest hog producer has topped using the drug. The drug has been banned…

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Was the Farmer Right in the First Place – Battle of the Animal Drugs

Touch the Soil News #207 A number of years ago, as an agricultural credit officer for one of the nation’s largest agricultural banks; I opened my mouth and got told off by a dairy farmer. As part of my duties, I spent time visiting farming enterprises that had “promise” in becoming a customer of the bank. This time I was visiting with a dairy farmer who banked with another bank. He was successful and had a 2,500-cow dairy close to a large population center. At the time, I had a burning question about why the heavy use of antibiotics in dairy and meat animals. For a little background, many dairies…

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