In addition to contaminating food, these pathogens also often escape from the farm and contaminate water, infect wild animals, and spread to produce through the application of contaminated manure or irrigation water.
These pathogens, which cause a variety of illnesses including food poisoning, can then be transferred to people through consumption of contaminated food or exposure to the contaminated environment. Symptoms of food poisoning range from diarrhea to paralysis, to organ damage, and, in some cases, even death. Livestock farms can also be the source of serious bacterial infections not commonly considered foodborne such as urinary tract infections and drug resistant staphylococcus infections. Because of the overuse of antibiotics, pathogens on farm are often more virulent and difficult to treat because of antibiotic resistance.
FACT is committed to reducing the negative impact of animal farming on human health and has aggressively worked to address this issue since 1988. FACT seeks changes in animal husbandry methods that will help reduce food safety problems through collaboration with federal regulatory agencies, Congress, and the agricultural industry.
- Ending the routine use of medically important antibiotics on healthy animals simply to make them grow faster or to prevent disease
- Strong protections against the spread of Mad Cow disease
- A ban on feeding poultry litter and manure to cattle
- Salmonella enteritidis controls on all egg laying farms
- A continued ban on the slaughter of downed cows