As Food Debate Heats Up, Landmark Collaboration Seeks Solutions

With the 2012 Farm Bill looming large on the horizon, first-ever National Conference to End Factory Farming brings together health, environmental, and animal welfare experts to address crises associated with our industrialized food system

WASHINGTON, D.C. October 6, 2011 – Amid growing consumer concern about the safety and sustainability of America’s primarily industrialized food supply, and with big agribusiness racing against the clock to “reshape the dialogue” to their advantage before the renewal of the Farm Bill, a landmark collaboration of three disparate advocacy movements aims to tackle factory farming’s impact head on. The first-ever National Conference to End Factory Farming: For Health, Environment and Farm Animals (www.factoryfarmingconference.org), hosted by Farm Sanctuary and taking place October 27-29 in Arlington, Virginia, will bring together more than 30 thought-provoking experts from across the public health, environmental, and animal welfare movements.

“Factory farming is a threat to public health, the environment, and the rural communities upon which our food system desperately depend,” says Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food Water Watch. “The next farm bill must urgently reverse the policies that have given all of the advantages to intensive farming operations while pushing out the small and mid-sized farms that are the backbone of a system that provides us safe, healthy and sustainable food.”

Destined to be a watershed moment in America’s food revolution, this groundbreaking conference boasts a speaker line-up that reads like a who’s who of the world’s most prominent change-makers, including U.S. Congressman James Moran (D-VA), Whole Foods Market Co-CEO John Mackey, China Study author Dr. T. Colin Campbell and many more. Unique in its exclusive focus on factory farming, the conference program will cover a wide range of problems surrounding industrialized food production, including:

  • Its role as a leading contributor to global climate change, resource depletion, and environmental pollution
  • Public health threats posed by cross-contamination, food-borne illnesses and degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke, which are often brought on by the excess production and consumption of cheaply produced meat and other animal products
  • The physiological and psychological impact of severe confinement and other unnatural and inhumane conditions on animal health and welfare

These elements, and many others, represent the true economics of factory farming.

Anchored by a full audience panel presentation devoted exclusively to the Farm Bill and its role as a key policy solution and point of collaboration for everyone concerned with factory farming’s impact on modern society, the conference will focus on new solutions for ending the systematic exploitation and destruction inherent in factory farming

“We are a nation in crisis and factory farming is a key contributor to the momentous health, ethical and environmental problems we are facing,” says Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur, who was hailed by TIME magazine as “the conscience of the food movement.” Industrialized animal agriculture is causing unprecedented damage, and with the Farm Bill coming up for renewal, there has never been a more urgent time for environmental, health and animal advocates to come together to make this destructive system a thing of the past.”

According to recent consumer research, 42 percent of respondents said the U.S. is “on the wrong track in the way we produce food.” Food and Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter sees the conference and the upcoming Farm Bill as “an opportunity to define more sustainable methods for meeting the nation’s food needs and to force government to do its job representing citizens’ best interests.”

The National Conference to End Factory Farming is sponsored by Whole Foods Market, ASPCA, E: The Environmental Magazine, Discovery’s TreeHugger, Healthy Living Magazine, Tranquil Space, A Well Fed World, the Humane Society of the United States, Green Patriot, PlanetSave, Mercy For Animals, Eat Drink Better, GreenMuze, Compassion Over Killing, Healthy Bitch Daily, Thrifty Green, and Compassion in World Farming. For more information and to register, please visit: www.factoryfarmingconference.org. Cost is $150 per person.

About Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, promotes legislative, policy, and individual lifestyle changes to help farm animals. Farm Sanctuary’s shelters in New York and California provide lifelong care for nearly 1,000 rescued farm animals. For more information, please visit farmsanctuary.org.

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