Public Health

Fair Farms for Healthy Families

Farmers and farm workers live close to the land. Spending their days growing food for families, we owe it to them to ensure their families—and all Marylanders—enjoy safe and healthy living conditions. Public health is important to us all.

Our current agriculture and food system often prioritizes profits over public health. Some industrial farms—especially those involved in intensive animal agriculture—use unhealthy farming practices that jeopardize our environment and, in turn, endanger public health.

Manure PageExcess pesticides and manure from these farms seep into our waterways – the same waterways Marylanders use for swimming, fishing, crabbing, and drinking water. When excess manure from factory farms ends up in our water sources, Marylanders can be exposed to harmful disease-carrying pathogens and bacteria that pose many health risks. Exposure to herbicides like Atrazine, which is used to treat corn, is linked to cancer, thyroid disease, and other systemic problems. In fact, the World Health Organization regards several pesticides and herbicides routinely used in agriculture, such as Roundup, as likely carcinogens.

The routine use of antibiotics in farm animals that are not sick is also contributing to the rise of antibiotic resistance. It is estimated that 23,000 people die every year— and two million people are sickened—by antibiotic resistant superbugs.  Farm workers are at a particularly high risk due to their constant exposure.

Cows CAFOBig factory farms can be unhealthy neighbors, creating foul smells, contributing to air and water pollution, and exposing people to animal-borne diseases. Just as Maryland farmers need reasonable protection from encroaching developments, we also need updated zoning codes that protect Maryland homeowners and residents from noxious fumes and other threats from encroaching, super-sized factory farms with intensive animal agriculture.

Fair Farms believes in a more diverse, healthy, local, and sustainable system. A system where farmers live in harmony with the land and the community and chemical outputs are minimized, and these sustainable farms are supported by consumers. Farming should conjure visions of pastoral landscapes and hardworking men and women cultivating the land – not practices that threaten public health and pollute the environment.

Fair farms mean healthy families.

Projects & Campaigns

 

Latest Posts

  • That’s a Wrap! Check out Our Successes this Legislative SessionThat’s a Wrap! Check out Our Successes this Legislative Session
    The 2019 Maryland legislative session has come to a close. We are grateful and proud that so many of our bills were successful this year – from incentivizing the purchase of local foods, to ensuring that antibiotics are used responsibly in farming. e vow to keep fighting for those that were not.  Here’s our end-of-session ...
  • Fair Farms Legislative Priorities for 2019Fair Farms Legislative Priorities for 2019
    Our Priorities Bills The Maryland Food for Maryland Institutions Act (Del. Charkoudian – HB305 | Sen. Hester – SB608) Eating local food provides many benefits to the consumer, the community, and the environment. With the hope of expanding support for local food, this bill will establish a task force that will review current state procurement processes and seek farmer ...
  • VICTORY: Poultry Giant Sanderson Farms Quits Antibiotics HabitVICTORY: Poultry Giant Sanderson Farms Quits Antibiotics Habit
    We did it! At long last, Sanderson Farms, the third largest poultry company in the country, has announced that they will end the preventative use of antibiotics on their farms. This is a big win in the fight against antibiotic resistant superbugs and we couldn’t have done it without folks like you speaking out! Almost two ...
  • Fair Farms and Maryland Public Health Association: Keep Antibiotics WorkingFair Farms and Maryland Public Health Association: Keep Antibiotics Working
    By Alicia LaPorte, Fair Farms Campaign Manager, and Raimee Eck, Maryland Public Health Association President. This piece was originally published on Maryland Matters. Sometimes the spirit and effectiveness of health-protective legislation can be lost in the process of regulatory translation and implementation. Such was the case with the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act of 2017, legislation sponsored by ...
  • Take Action: Good & bad news in our fight to stop superbugsTake Action: Good & bad news in our fight to stop superbugs
    Bad news: The Hogan Administration’s draft regulations for the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act undermine the intent of the law and will likely fail to stop the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria on Maryland farms. Good news: The Maryland legislators tasked with reviewing draft regulations like these (the “AELR” Committee) has used their power to temporarily stop ...

@FairFarms

Follow @FairFarms