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Livestock

Picture of Martha Rosenberg

This month's FDA guidance for reducing livestock antibiotics will actually make things worse, animal welfare and food activist groups are saying. The guidance is a "diversion" that pretends to address the problem of factory farm-driven antibiotic resistance while accomplishing nothing.

Picture of Martha Rosenberg

Could there be anything worse for the chicken industry than this month's outbreak of an antibiotic-resistant strain of salmonella that hospitalized 42 percent of everyone who got it -- almost 300 in 18 states? Yes.

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You know things are bad in the pork industry when the whistleblowers aren't animal rights activists but the government itself. In May, the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Office of the Inspector General exposed extreme sanitation and humane violations in 30 swine slaughterhouses it visited.

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Ever since James Garner, the face of the “Real Food for Real People” beef campaign, suffered a heart attack in 1988, there has been nothing but bad publicity about red meat.

Picture of Valerie Lego

In 1973, nearly every Michigan resident was exposed to a toxic chemical. As I brought this story out of the shadows and examined the lasting health effects, I had an advantage: the story was heavily archived and documented.

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 Was that glass of milk you drank this morning safe? Government reports show that high levels of antibiotics and other drugs are common in dairy animals and their products. Worse, milk producers resist further testing lest their products be found unsafe.

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"Animal Pharma," the animal-drug divisions within drug companies, tends to operate under the public's radar.

Picture of Martha Rosenberg

Every holiday season, glossy brochures from Heifer International arrive in US mailboxes tempting people to send the gift of live animals to people in poor countries. Photos show happy kids hugging happy animals and assure givers the animals will provide meat, milk, eggs and wool in perpetuity. Wrong

Picture of Gergana Koleva

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will no longer consider withdrawing its approval for the routine use of penicillin and tetracyclines in food-producing animals, despite mounting evidence that traces of these drugs in retail meat reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics in humans, the agency quietly announced in the Federal Register the Thursday before Christmas.

Announcements

“Racism in medicine is a national emergency.” That’s how journalist Nicholas St. Fleur characterized the crisis facing American health care this spring, as his team at STAT embarked on “Color Code,” an eight-episode series exploring medical mistrust in communities of color across the country. In this webinar, we’ll take inspiration from their work to discuss strategies and examples for telling stories about inequities, disparities and racism in health care systems. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team.

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