October 18, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Factory farm advocates ignore health concerns

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To the Editor:

Re: “Poor Old MacDonald: Benefits of Factory Farms” News, Oct. 13

I was saddened to see that some on Cornell’s campus are promoting large-scale factory farming. These massive operations cram animals in cages, virtually immobilizing them for their entire lives. Not only is this a serious animal welfare concern, it also poses severe food safety problems. For instance, the American Journal of Epidemiology published a study finding that people sickened with salmonella were twice as likely to have eaten eggs from caged hens. It’s likely no coincidence that every one of the half billion eggs recalled this year — the largest in U.S. history — came from factory farms that confine hens in cages.

As a medical doctor, it’s imperative for public health that our society moves away from supporting these massive animal confinement operations.

Michael Greger M.D. ’95