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

  • Weis Markets Must Act to Fight SuperbugsWeis Markets Must Act to Fight Superbugs
    This piece, written by Alicia LaPorte, Fair Farms Campaign Manager, was originally published by the Sunbury Daily Item Ask Weis Markets to Fight Superbugs: This week, Sunbury-based Weis Markets, Inc. will hold its annual meeting of shareholders and the company’s directors will discuss a range of issues with those who have an interest in the company. Unfortunately for ...
  • Maryland’s 2018 Legislative Session in Review: Our Wins, Setbacks & Hopes for 2018Maryland’s 2018 Legislative Session in Review: Our Wins, Setbacks & Hopes for 2018
    Phew, we made it! Maryland’s 2018 legislative session is officially complete, so Fair Farms is here to update you on what we were able to accomplish together, a couple setbacks, and our hopes for next year. While there were a host of bills on the docket related to food and farming, Fair Farms prioritized four. Here’s ...
  • Why Did Maryland’s General Assembly Kill the Bill to Ban the Toxic Pesticide Chlorpyrifos?Why Did Maryland's General Assembly Kill the Bill to Ban the Toxic Pesticide Chlorpyrifos?
    Last week, the proposed bill to ban the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos quietly died in Maryland’s Senate. This is incredibly disappointing news and puts the health of children, farmworkers, pollinators, and our environment in danger. Delegate Dana Stein and Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam spearheaded the effort to ban this dangerous pesticide after seeing the EPA backtrack on a plan to bar ...
  • Take Action: Ask Weis Markets to Help Fight Superbugs!Take Action: Ask Weis Markets to Help Fight Superbugs!
    Did you know that without even realizing it, you might be choosing to make superbugs – dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria – even stronger? Weis Markets, a regional grocery chain many of us know and love, has been selling chicken from Sanderson Farms as its store brand. Unlike the two other largest chicken producers in the country ...
  • Press Release: New Campaign Asks Weis Markets to Adopt Responsible Antibiotics Policy for Store-Brand ChickenPress Release: New Campaign Asks Weis Markets to Adopt Responsible Antibiotics Policy for Store-Brand Chicken
    Regional Grocery Chain Sells Sanderson Farms Chicken, Poultry Company Routinely Using Medically Important Antibiotics For Immediate Release January 30, 2018 Contact: Alicia LaPorte 860.869.9788 Takoma Park, MD (January 30, 2018) – Fair Farms, a grassroots movement of Marylanders committed to building a sustainable and healthy food system, today launched Fair Farms Wise Choice, a campaign asking regional grocery chain Weis ...


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