Family Farmers, Cattle and Consumers
are Victims of Corporate Greed
National Family Farm Coalition
The NFFC, with over 30 member groups in the U.S., is calling for policies that bolster production on family farms and ranches where cattle can be raised and fed in healthy, humane circumstances. Industrial livestock production practices, such as using the cheapest feed ingredients from all over the world, has lead to the decline of family farms, animal health, and consumer confidence. It is believed that the cow suffering from BSE probably became infected by eating feed that contained bone, protein, or blood meal from an infected cow of unknown origin. Livestock are being fed questionable products that most sensible people would condemn out of hand, such as chicken manure containing traces of chicken feed laced with rendered cattle, stated John Kinsman, an organic Wisconsin dairy farmer, vice president of NFFC. We produce beautiful hay and feed right here on the farm and wouldnt think of feeding our animals such crap.
Our government officials in USDA, Congress, and the White House are just too cozy with the big corporations that have no other concern but their bottom line, stated Bill Christison, former president of NFFC, current president of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MRCC), and a cattle producer from Chillicothe, Missouri. Consumers are waking up, though, and buying their food directly from family farmers or stores that know how the food is raised, he continued. The MRCC, like many Coalition groups, are assisting this farmer-consumer relationship, but are demanding changes in government policy so every consumer can be confident their food is being raised on family farms with the consumers health a top priority.
Globalization of the food supply, through NAFTA, WTO, and CAFTA, will only lead to more food quality crises, including contamination from pesticide residue and disease organisms, expressed Dena Hoff, NFFCs Trade Taskforce Chair, board member of the Northern Plains Resource Council, and farmer from Montana. Mandatory country of origin labeling should be funded by Congress so consumers know where their food comes from and real quality can be the issue, not corporate profits.
The National Family Farm Coalition calls on Secretary Veneman to conduct a swift investigation with remedies that put the interests of family farmers and consumers ahead of corporate profits. Family farmers and consumers around the world are demanding food sovereignty so that each nations farm system can be managed to produce quality food on family farms for that nations consumers. If our great democracy cant hear that message, then this case of Mad Cow will be just the beginning, emphasized Naylor.
Published in In Motion Magazine December 29, 2003
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