It's almost too bizarre to be true: the FDA can't decide whether to ban
the practice of allowing chicken fecal matter to be fed to cattle
because, the FDA says, what else are they supposed to do with all that
chicken litter? In other words, cows are living waste disposal machines
who eat -- get this -- chicken shit by the ton. And then you eat the
cows (if you're a red meat eater, that is). It's sort of like eating
second-hand chicken shit, only riskier because now you also have the
risk of mad cow disease, too.
Here's an actual quote from the story,
stated by Stephen Sundlof, the director of the FDA's Center for
Veterinary Medicine: "...adding chicken litter to cattle feed is one of
the primary methods of waste disposal for the chicken growers..." I
found that statement astonishing. That the FDA can say, with a straight
face, that the only way to get rid of chicken litter is to feed it to
cows is, well, bordering on insane. The FDA is also reluctant to ban the
practice of feeding cattle blood to cows. "What are we going to do with
all this blood?" seems to be the cry from the FDA. The answer? Well,
feed it to the cattle, of course!
You know, here's an idea: maybe we
should stop thinking of cattle as waste disposal machines. If these are
creatures that humans will one day eat, maybe we should be feeding them
foods that, if not healthy, are at least sane. You can't take every
waste product from farms and chicken factories and just feed it all to
cows. It's sick, it's unethical, and it's unhealthy. Perhaps even
criminal. And it is precisely these sort of practices that promote the
risk of mad cow disease. If consumers really knew what was going on
behind closed doors in the cattle industry, they'd boycott red meat for
life (like I have). The new slogan for the beef industry should be,
"Beef. It's FDA-approved second-hand chicken shit."
A mountain of chicken dung - among other things - is preventing the
Food and Drug Administration from banning blood, chicken waste and
restaurant leftovers from cattle feed, a top administration official
Tainted feed from a Canadian mill is believed to have infected the
Yakima County Holstein cow that set off the U.S. mad cow crisis in
But just days after the agency recommended bans on the widespread
practice of adding such things as blood, chicken excrement and
restaurant table scraps to feed, it was deluged with troubling feedback,
according to Stephen Sundlof, the director of the FDA's Center for
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