Antibiotics used while raising beef, poultry, and swine, has some scientists concerned. What should consumers know? Consumers are making their voice heard through new methods (ex, Chicago Public Schools buying antibiotic free chicken). Scientist continue to raise the alarm about the over use of antibiotics (ex, Union of Concerned Scientists petitions to FDA). And farmers and ranchers question the validity of stopping the prophylactic uses of antibiotics in food animals (ex, studies comparing US farm operations with antibiotic use with EU operations with no antibiotic use see no changes in antibiotic resistance).
The Center for Food Integrity published its 2011 Consumer Trust Research (PDF link). The top three priority goals driving consumer food choices include: Safe food, affordable food for me and my family, and nutritious food. It was noted that consumers distinguish between family farmers versus commercial farmers.
There is an inverse relationship between the perception of shared values and priorities for commercial farms. Consumers fear that commercial farms will put profit ahead of principle and therefore cut corners when it comes to other priority issues. As farms continue to change in size and scale we have to overcome that bias by more effectively demonstrating our commitment to the values and priorities of consumers.
Protecting & Growing Agriculture Amidst the Activist Conflict - A Missouri Experience - Kelly Smith, Marketing and Commodities Director, Missouri Farm Bureau Federation, from the 2011 Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholders Summit, May 5-6, Arlington, VA, USA.
With the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act moving forward to law, technology companies are lining up to help implement the details. Much of the legislation is all about collecting, tracking, and analysis of data and information on food. This includes putting in place systems to register food facilities, collect and monitor data from production farms, notify multiple parties about food related issues, and handle food recalls.
The FDA would have the authority to issue direct recalls of foods that are suspected to be tainted, rather than relying on individual producers to voluntarily issue recalls.
Food producers would be required to develop written food safety plans, accessible by the government in case of emergency. These would include hazard analysis and a plan for implementing corrective measures.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services would be required to create a food tracing system that would streamline the process of finding the source of contamination, should an outbreak occur.
Importers would be required to verify the safety of all imported foods to make sure it's in accordance with U.S. food safety guidelines.
What's Right With Food Labels What info on a food label causes you to put the item back? What additional info would you like to see on food labels to help you make better choices? This Foodchat discussion offers some perspective.
The dairy industry is taking a hit because of the actions of one former employee at Conklin Dairy Farms Inc. in Ohio. The actions of one person have created the impression that all dairies treat their dairy cows poorly. And this is certainly not the case!
The question for those of us in the dairy industry is "what do we do next?"