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

  • VIDEO: Denmark’s Livestock Antibiotic Success StoryVIDEO: Denmark's Livestock Antibiotic Success Story
    Large agricultural companies are fighting the Maryland Keep Antibiotics Effective Act, which would restrict the routine use of human antibiotics in livestock who are not sick. They claim that this legislation is redundant with federal guidelines (it is not). In addition, they assert compliance would hurt the industry. In this video, we hear evidence from two Danish doctors — one ...
  • Show Your Love for Sustainable Cocoa this Valentine’s DayShow Your Love for Sustainable Cocoa this Valentine's Day
    By Mackenzie Nargiz Student, St. Mary’s College of Maryland Around Valentine’s Day, it is estimated that over $1 billion dollars will be spent on chocolate alone over the course of the month. That’s over 50 million pounds of chocolate purchased for loved ones worldwide. With that in mind, it is important to consider the local and global impacts being ...
  • Quiz: Are You a Superbug Fighting Hero?Quiz: Are You a Superbug Fighting Hero?
      Antibiotic resistance isn’t an easy thing to understand. You probably know not to take antibiotics for a virus, like a common cold. But, did you know that scientists are concerned that the effectiveness of antibiotics we use to treat infections in humans is diminishing? It’s in part because bacteria are pretty adaptive. When bacteria are exposed ...
  • 2017 Maryland Legislative Priorities2017 Maryland Legislative Priorities
    Fair Farms is following a wide array of legislation in the Maryland General Assembly, which is holding is 90-day session through April 10, 2017. We hope that you will be an involved participant in the legislative process this session. Write your legislators, submit testimony, and support bills by talking with family and friends and encouraging ...
  • Antibiotics News & UpdatesAntibiotics News & Updates
    As the Maryland General Assembly works on legislation to limit the use of antibiotics in farm animals that are not sick, Fair Farms will be working to keep you informed on why this is such an important issue for the health of farms, farmland, farm workers and the public health. We’ll post updated stories and ...


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