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

  • A Message from Jermie SuperbugA Message from Jermie Superbug
    Good Day – Bwahahaha! Some have labeled me a villain. By way of introduction, my name is “SuperBug.” My friends call me Jermie. It is my mission to become immune to all human antibiotics. I especially like to build my resistance to treatments for those with compromised immune systems, children and the elderly. I get my super-powers ...
  • VIDEO: Keep Antibiotics WorkingVIDEO: Keep Antibiotics Working
    The act of administering low-doses of human antibiotics to farm animals who aren’t sick is a massive problem that must stop – and stop yesterday. This inappropriate use of antibiotics is linked to the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria. These “superbugs” sicken millions of Americans every year and kill tens of thousands. In January 2017, when ...
  • Sounding Alarm Bells on AntibioticsSounding Alarm Bells on Antibiotics
    As the executive director for Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility (Chesapeake PSR), I lead the organization in recruiting, training and engaging credible health care professionals, scientists and organizations in advocating on important health and social justice issues. Therefore, we were thrilled to see that just weeks ago the Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi), a statewide ...
  • Video: Are You Ready for a New Food Future?Video: Are You Ready for a New Food Future?
  • Petition: Tell Sanderson Farms to Stop Confusing ConsumersPetition: Tell Sanderson Farms to Stop Confusing Consumers
    This disgusts me. Joe Sanderson, the CEO of the country’s third-largest poultry producer—Sanderson Farms—has chosen corporate profits over public health. Mr. Sanderson has ignored every major medical authority that says routine antibiotic use breeds resistant bacteria. Not only will his Mississippi-based company continue to encourage its chicken farmers to administer antibiotics to “prevent illness” in poultry; Sanderson ...


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