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.

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Latest Posts

  • Fair Farms. Wise Choice: Demand Change at Weis Markets to Fight SuperbugsFair Farms. Wise Choice: Demand Change at Weis Markets to Fight Superbugs
    Without even realizing it, you might be choosing to make superbugs ー dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacteria ー even stronger This winter, Fair Farms learned some hopeful news: antibiotic sales for farm animals dropped by 14 percent between 2015 and 2016, the first decline since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began collecting this data. We have consumers ...
  • Your Purchasing Power: Consumer Demand is Changing Big (and Small) FoodYour Purchasing Power: Consumer Demand is Changing Big (and Small) Food
    * This is a guest blog post by Emma Green, an environmental studies and biology major at St. Mary’s College of Maryland You buy local and humanely raised meat, compost food scraps, and shop at farmers markets whenever possible — but do these small, individual actions make a difference? Yes! Your actions are part of a ...
  • 2018 Maryland Legislative Priorities2018 Maryland Legislative Priorities
    Fair Farms is following a wide array of legislation in the Maryland General Assembly, which is holding a 90-day session through April 9, 2018. We hope that you will be an involved participant in the legislative process this session. Write and call your legislators, submit testimony, and support bills by talking with family and friends ...
  • Animal Welfare Standards for Organic Livestock in DangerAnimal Welfare Standards for Organic Livestock in Danger
    It’s More Important than Ever to Know Your Farmer Last year, we asked the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to move forward on a proposed rule aimed to safeguard the welfare of millions of animals across the country that are raised organic. Along with many of you, we were surprised to find that animals raised under ...
  • Maryland Joins Efforts to Ban Dangerous Pesticide ChlorpyrifosMaryland Joins Efforts to Ban Dangerous Pesticide Chlorpyrifos
    On June 6, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh joined six attorney generals in challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) failure to label chlorpyrifos as unsafe for humans in any quantity. Six weeks later, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin announced his co-sponsorship of a bill that bans chlorpyrifos. What exactly is chlorpyrifos and why is everyone so ...


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