Public Health Association urges moratorium on CAFOs |

Public Health Association urges moratorium on CAFOs

-The Hagstrom Report

The American Public Health Association has called for a moratorium on the concentrated animal feeding operations known as CAFOs.

The group adopted a policy statement on the issue at its annual meeting in Philadelphia on Nov. 5, and has released the following brief description in advance of publishing its full policy statements early next year:

“Moratorium on concentrated animal feeding operations — Noting that large amounts of manure and other untreated waste created by concentrated animal feeding operations pose a threat to air quality, drinking water and human health, urges the federal government to remove such operations from reporting exemptions related to environmental emissions.

“Calls on policymakers to enforce the Clean Water Act as it relates to such operations, as well as strengthen regulations on the monitoring of air emissions so that researchers can study the potential risks to health.

“Encourages federal officials to bring the use of medically important antibiotics in U.S. poultry and livestock into compliance with World Health Organization recommendations that producers stop using such antibiotics in healthy animals.”

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) noted that it had helped APHA members develop the policy.

“CAFOs are the dominant production model for food animals in the United States, but government oversight and policies designed to safeguard the health of individuals and the environment from these operations have been inadequate,” said Bob Martin, director of the Food System Policy Program at the CLF.

“This policy statement puts the public’s health first and if observed, it has the potential to protect the health of some of our nation’s most vulnerable communities.”