Just Say No: Livestock, Drugs and Groundwater

AvinashKar52905978_0338ee1fec_qFactory farms produce a majority of our nation’s meat. Over two-thirds of the beef consumed in this country comes from farms with at least 5,000 head of cattle; more than 90 percent of the chicken we eat comes from only ten companies; and over the last 30 years the number of hog farms has dropped to a tenth of what it was, while pork sales have remained steady.

With these mammoth farms come appalling conditions and animal overcrowding. The factory farm solution: hormones and antibiotics, which boost meat production and reduce animal disease. Pharmaceuticals are being used at an unprecedented rate. And if you think you can avoid the drug exposure by limiting or eliminating meat from your diet, the scientific community has some bad news for you – studies have recently shown that this use of pharmaceuticals on livestock is having devastating effects on our groundwater.

This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio is Avinash Kar, a staff attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (or NRDC). He talks to host Alex Wise about NRDC’s role in the fight to regulate and create transparency in how drugs are used on livestock.