For years, health advocates have pressured the FDA to regulate the amount of antibiotics fed to farm animals, which consume about 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the United States, of which two-thirds are similar or identical to drugs used in human medicine. Due to overuse of antibiotics, several germs have adapted and become immune to them, giving rise to ‘superbugs.’ Despite the growing amount of evidence to support this concern, the FDA has reacted mildly, issuing voluntary guidelines that called on farmers to be “judicious” with antibiotics, limiting their use to ensuring animal health.
Just a few months ago, agriculture specialists predicted that America would see one of its largest corn crops in 2012. Nationwide, farmers planted a reported 96.4 million acres of corn, hoping to make a decent profit. But unexpected droughts have paralyzed some of America’s prominent corn producing states, causing the the price of corn to rise, which will make it difficult for livestock farmers to afford to feed their animals.
Family farm advocates have launched a program designed to add New England dairy farms into the fair trade movement, which ensures that the producers of products receive a fair price for their product. With New England dairy farms at risk of going out of business in our increasingly consolidated dairy industry, the program seeks to educate people about family owned farms. The hope is that consumers will pay a premium for local dairy products to ensure that farmers receive fair wages and can stay in business.
Environmentalists, scientists, and industry and government officials have settled the eight-year debate on salmon farming regulations. The new bylaws seek to provide regulations for many things, including the use of antibiotics and pesticides. Many compromises were made to reach final decisions and representatives admit that the standards are not perfect, but everyone believes that improvements to the environment and industry will result from the regulations.