Friday, April 24, 2009

There are numerous laws and regulations about food safety in the United States, but is the food really safe? What are the effects of the industrialized the food production system?

Increases diseases from pesticides:

... at least 53 pesticides classified as carcinogens [and 165 potential carcinogens] are presently applied in massive amounts to our food crops. ... A National Cancer Institute study found that farmers who used industrial herbicides where six times more likely than non-farmers to develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma... exposure to compounds like PCBs and organophosphate insecticides during critical periods of development [in young people] can cause permanent, long-term damage to the nervous and reproductive systems.
Increased infections:
... reported cases of disease from salmonella and E. coli pathogens are ten times greater than they were two decades ago... The CDC saw none of these pathogens in meat until the late 1970s when "animal factories" became toe dominant means of meat production. ... fruits and vegetables get contaminated by these pathogens through exposure to tainted fertilizers and sewage sludge.
... nearly 50 percent of U.S. antibiotics are given to animals... Infections resistant to antibiotics are now the 11th leading cause of death in the United States.
Increased diseases from diet:
... people are consuming more calories, preservatives, and sugar than ever in history, while reducing their intake of fresh whole fruits and vegetables. ... these changes have lead to overwhelming increases in obesity, Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease among Americans. ... The Surgeon General has determined that two out of every three premature deaths is related to diet.
What is the solution?
Increased dependence on chemical, nuclear, or genetically engineered inputs will only intensify the problem. The real solution is to return to sound organic agricultural practices. ... food production that is safe for the environment, human to animals, and based in community and independence is also a food supply that is safe and nutritious for humans.
- pg 52-53, Fatal Harvest.



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