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.

Latest Posts

  • Farm Bill Provides Opportunity for Increased U.S. Organic Production Farm Bill Provides Opportunity for Increased U.S. Organic Production On Thursday, July 13, members of the Senate held a hearing to listen to insights from leaders in organic and specialty markets so that their critiques could be included in the Senate’s upcoming draft of the Agricultural Act (commonly called the Farm Bill). The Senate and House of Representatives hold many hearings while developing ...
  • PRESS RELEASE: New Maryland Law Prohibits Routine Use of Antibiotics on Farms PRESS RELEASE: New Maryland Law Prohibits Routine Use of Antibiotics on Farms FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 25, 2017 CONTACT: Betsy Nicholas, Waterkeepers Chesapeake (202) 423-0504 betsy@waterkeeperschesapeake.org New Maryland Law Prohibits Routine Use of Antibiotics on Farms Keep Antibiotics Effective Act makes Maryland the second state to restrict agricultural use of antibiotics Annapolis, Md – The Keep Antibiotics Effective Act (SB422/HB602) will become law without a signature from Governor Larry Hogan, making Maryland the second state ...
  • Save Antibiotics: Baltimore Restaurant Guide Save Antibiotics: Baltimore Restaurant GuideBy Michael Curry Student, Johns Hopkins University In my sophomore year of college, I decided I wanted to become a student of public health and study how I could make a lasting impact on the Baltimore City community. I applied to Maryland PIRG for an internship and proceeded to research some of the issues the organization was, and ...
  • How Does Your ‘Organic’ Milk Stack Up? How Does Your 'Organic' Milk Stack Up?When one thinks of an organic dairy farm, bucolic images of cows grazing across grass-covered hills may come to mind, but is this accurate? Consumers pay significantly more for USDA Organic milk, but a recent expose in the Washington Post casts doubt on whether organic milk is really “organic” at all. Are consumers getting ripped ...
  • Del. Robinson: Session Is Over, But I Still Need Your Help Del. Robinson: Session Is Over, But I Still Need Your HelpBy Del. Shane Robinson (D-Montgomery County) We are very close to making Maryland the second state in the country to declare that routine use of human antibiotics in livestock who are not sick is a public health threat that must be addressed. Against great odds, the legislation I sponsored in the House of Delegates and that ...

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