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.
Excess 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.
Big 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
- Lupin and Peanut Allergies: How the Industrial Food Sector Skirts FDA ApprovalLast year, the Center for Public Integrity created a video about how easy it is for food additives to make it into the supply chain of food we find on store shelves. Some of these additives can be very dangerous — even life-threatening — especially to individuals with food allergies or other health conditions. According ...
- Distribution of Antibiotics in Agriculture is Alarmingly on the RiseAcross the United States, over 20,000 people die each year — and millions more are sickened — due to antibiotic resistance. Research indicates that this resistance has been heightened by the widespread prophylactic use of antibiotics in farm animals. The bacteria that have grown antibiotic resistant are informally known as “superbugs.” These organisms have become ...
- Fair Farms Partners with Farmers to Help Stop the Spread of SuperbugsFarmers care about the health of their families and communities just as much as anyone. That’s why Fair Farms is partnering with farmers to help address the issue of antibiotic resistant superbugs. Estimates suggest that 70% of the medically important antibiotics sold in the United States are sold to raise chickens, hogs, and cattle on large ...
- BuyingPoultry: Verifying What’s on the LabelBrowsing the packaging and labels on poultry products at any major grocery store you’ll see pictures of wide open, sunny fields with chickens and turkeys happily roaming on them. You will also see words like “pasture raised,” “natural,” “free range” and “cage free.” It’s a lot to decode. How can we be sure these labels ...