Today, The Lancet published an open letter — signed by over 200 global public health experts — urging the World Health Organization to take action on industrial farming.
* “Margaret Chan, the Director-General of WHO, spoke at last year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) to call for action from the international community on three “slow motion disasters” that she expected would soon “reach a tipping point where the harm done is irreversible.” These issues are climate change, antibiotic resistance, and the rise of non-communicable diseases.”
* “Industrial animal farming (also known as concentrated animal feeding operations [CAFOs]) is a major contributor to each of the three disasters highlighted by Chan. While animal products can play a part in healthy diets, their industrial production has led to drastic over-consumption and associated burden of non-communicable diseases in many societies.”
* “Industrial animal farming also contributes to the rise of antibiotic resistance and pandemic threats in two major ways: first, through the widespread “low-dose” use of antibiotics on farms; and second, by rapidly expanding deforestation in order to supply grazing and feed land for cattle, which brings human beings in closer contact with wild animals that may carry emerging zoonotic diseases.”
* “We urge the next Director-General to consider policies that limit the growth and regulate the harms of industrial farming. These include, but are not limited to banning the use of growth-promoting antibiotics; cooperating with relevant ministries to reduce the construction of new industrial animal farms; and working with member states to reduce subsidies of industrial animal farming and its inputs.”