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

  • Press Release: Hogan Administration Defies General Assembly by Failing to Address Irresponsible Antibiotic Use in AgriculturePress Release: Hogan Administration Defies General Assembly by Failing to Address Irresponsible Antibiotic Use in Agriculture
    MDA’s Proposed Regulations for 2017 Law Allow for Continued Routine Antibiotic Use, Which Fuels Global Antibiotic Resistance Crisis FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 16, 2018 CONTACT: Emily Scarr, Director, Maryland PIRG Director, emily@marylandpirg.org, 859-221-4213 Katlyn Clark, Staff Attorney, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, katlyn@waterkeeperschesapeake.org, 240-320-7711 Annapolis, Md – Public health advocates are crying foul over the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) long-overdue, ...
  • Take Action: Save the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act!Take Action: Save the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act!
    Last year, with your vocal support, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act to prohibit the overuse of human antibiotics in meat production. More than a year after the bill became law, without Gov. Hogan’s signature, the Hogan Administration finally released draft regulations to implement the law, and unfortunately the regulations are so weak that the overuse ...
  • Enough: Elanco’s Patronizing Antibiotics Misinformation CampaignEnough: Elanco’s Patronizing Antibiotics Misinformation Campaign
    By Kenai McFadden, Fair Farms Public Health Intern If you’ve spent a lot of time on the Fair Farms blog, you might already know that the issue of antibiotic overuse in animal production is incredibly important. It’s one reason why the Fair Farms Wise Choice campaign exists, urging regional grocer Weis Markets to re-evaluate their relationship ...
  • 2 Minutes, Big Impact: Submit Feedback to Weis Markets Asking for Action to Fight Superbugs2 Minutes, Big Impact: Submit Feedback to Weis Markets Asking for Action to Fight Superbugs
    Will you take two minutes to fill out a feedback form on Weis Markets’ website asking that they stop selling Sanderson Farms as their store brand chicken, unless the poultry company cleans up its act? Sanderson Farms, the third largest poultry company in the U.S., continues to routinely use antibiotics on their mega-chicken farms, even as ...
  • Browsing Green Goats: “Spraying isn’t Cool”Browsing Green Goats: "Spraying isn't Cool"
    Guest blog post by Mary T. Bowen of Browsing Green Goats and Prosperity Acres Farm in Sunderland, Md. You can rent goats from Mary to tackle overgrown weeds and brush as an alternative to herbicides. We’ve all done it: We’ve sprayed herbicides to get rid of the weeds at some point. Herbicides are designed to be toxic to ...

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