"How Industrial Agriculture Has Thwarted Factory Farm Reforms"

"In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Robert Martin, co-author of a recent study on industrial farm animal production, explains how a powerful and intransigent agriculture lobby has successfully fought off attempts to reduce the harmful environmental and health impacts of mass livestock production."

"In 2008, the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production released a landmark report, Putting Meat on The Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America. The commission's study condemned the way the U.S. raised its cattle, pigs, and chickens and made a sweeping series of recommendations on how to reduce the severe environmental, public health, and animal welfare problems created by the current system. Last month, the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) released
a study analyzing the fate of these reforms and reached a stark conclusion: The power of the industrial agriculture lobby had blunted nearly all attempts at change.

In an interview with Yale Environment 360 contributor Christina Russo, Robert Martin — the executive director of the Pew Commission's 2008 report and now the Food System Policy program director at the CLF and co-author of its recent study — discusses what went wrong and how reforms can proceed. According to Martin, the key is building public pressure on the Obama administration and Congress to demand changes from an intransigent industry that Martin describes as 'having more money than Big Tobacco did in efforts to regulate cigarettes and the personality of the National Rifle Association.' One hopeful sign, said Martin, 'is that there are more and more people who are concerned about where their food comes from and how it's produced.'"

Christina M. Russo reports for Yale Environment 360 November 19, 2013.

Source: Yale Environment 360, 11/22/2013