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Report: Class 1 Recalls of Meat and Poultry Skyrocket by 83 Percent

Factory farming is filthier than ever. According to a new report from Public Interest Research Group based on USDA and FDA data, recalls of meat and poultry skyrocketed from 2013 to 2018. Beef recalls rose by 55 percent, pork recalls rose by 67 percent, and poultry recalls went up the most at 70 percent.
Perhaps even more troubling, the new report finds that Class 1 recalls of meat and poultry increased by 83 percent. Since they involve “a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that eating the food will cause health problems or death, Class 1 recalls are the most serious. The danger associated with Class 1 recalls combined with their prevalence should sound alarms that, even with U.S. food inspection and verification systems, factory farms are frightfully hazardous.

Factory farming has always been a disgusting industry. In 2013, Rolling Stone reported that U.S. factory farms generated about 500 million tons of animal waste annually, which is 130 million times more waste than all human Americans combined create. Also in 2013, the CDC reported that about 80 percent of antibiotics in the U.S. were given to animals raised for food—largely to prevent rampant spread of disease and infection at factory farms where animals are packed tightly together and made to live in their own filth.

The Center of Science in the Public Interest reports that, according to the CDC, at least 2 million infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria occur every year and 22 percent of these are linked to foodborne pathogens. To make matters worse, a total of 40 different diseases are transmissible from farmed animal waste to humans.

Pigs, cows, chickens, fish, and other animals raised at factory farms experience unimaginable cruelty and neglect. Mother pigs are crammed into small, filthy gestation crates. Chickens raised for meat are packed by the thousands into windowless sheds where the air is so acrid with ammonia it causes severe skin and throat irritation, blindness, and fatal respiratory problems. Turkeys, kept nearly for life in overcrowded sheds and bred to grow unnaturally large, often suffer heart attacks and debilitating leg deformities. Calves used for veal are ripped away from their mothers, locked in crates, and fed a low-iron milk substitute that makes them anemic. And a recent study found that vaccines commonly used at fish factory farms are virtually useless.

You can protect your health and take a stand against factory farm corruption by refusing to buy meat, dairy, and eggs. Please check out for tips on moving toward compassionate plant-based eating, and share videos from MFA’s undercover investigations to help inform your social network.