In western Ohio, our family farms are working diligently to provide high quality wholesome food to the world. Yet, elitist vegetarians and the HSUS are working to destroy production agriculture piece by piece.
In particular, you can find evidence of the misinformation campaign when examining the latest marketing techniques in this country. This is why you see a push for food labeling in grocery stores that tricks consumers into thinking one food is healthier than another with no scientific proof of benefit.
Take for instance the argument against meat that has been treated with antibiotics. The use of antibiotics keeps our livestock healthy. Those who practice animal husbandry are concerned first and foremost about animal safety and the quality of the product brought to market.
If agriculture responds to the scare tactics employed by anti-meat activists and ill advised marketers, they may risk the future of the farming industry. We must not abandon the advanced techniques that modern farming has brought to our traditional family farms. Antibiotic-free farms will see reduced production and cause food prices to soar. Consumers deserve a choice, and in ag country we have a responsibility to ensure that their decisions are grounded in facts.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and meat-packing plants are very serious about drug residue requirements. You cannot give an animal antibiotics and then send it to the packing house. Livestock that enters the food supply is always antibiotic free.
Many families have decided to reduce antibiotic intake in their homes, but livestock antibiotics are what keeps the meat healthy and are very different from the human antibiotics. There is a growing misconception that antibiotics are used as a type of growth promoter in livestock, and that these same antibiotics will end up in the meat we consume. This is simply not true, and we must be skeptical of any claim that antibiotics are unsafe for animals or we will see the options for dinner consist of rice and bananas. Now you try to find me rice and bananas that are “local.”
The term “antibiotic free” is not allowed in meat package labeling by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is simply a marketing term used to mislead the public. In reality, livestock raised with antibiotics are simply kept disease-free and healthy, ensuring a better product when marketed.
The war on production agriculture threatens our ability to provide affordable, healthy, nutritious food for our families. It also threatens the economic stability of our communities’ family farms. We cannot allow fads to take our traditional family farms back in time. Those fighting caged chickens, gestation crates and medicine for livestock seem to be in favor of a vegetarian society.
Stand with our traditional family farms that produce the most wholesome and best food in the world. Please join me in eating only food from traditional family farms. Let’s call it, “eat traditional!”
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The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.