Protection of the Food Supply No. 146
A safe food supply is necessary for the healthy functioning of any community. Where difference of opinion exists regarding the desirability of food treatment or additives, labeling enables the consumer to make an informed selection. An example would be the nutritional labeling we now enjoy on packaged foods. Some current concerns about our food supply include:
Rampant use of antibiotics in animal feed may lead to antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, which when contracted by humans may defy effective treatment.
Growth stimulants, such as BGH, are being given to feed animals to speed up their readiness for market.
Estimates of the prevalence of salmonella in our chicken and egg supplies range as high as 60%-70%; deaths attributable to this bacterium are on the increase, especially among children and the elderly.
Recent scientific advances have accelerated our ability to alter genetic material in both animals and crops. This can be a mixed blessing; while yield and other qualities may be enhanced, there may be harmful side-effects from the use of such methods.
The use of diseased or contaminated animal parts to feed animals intended for human consumption has led to serious complications; the best-known of which was the recent "Mad Cow" outbreak in England.
Refusal to require precise labeling, or even to allow disclosure of the above information, has led to international complications and threatens many of our trading partnerships;
Therefore, be it resolved that ADA calls upon Congress and the FDA to implement the following action:
- Ban the routine addition of antibiotics to animal feed;
- Require that chickens be raised in sanitary conditions. Require regular testing of flocks for salmonella. Destroy infected members;
- Ban the use of diseased or infected animals in feed for animals intended for human consumption;
- Require the clear and accurate labeling of all foods containing additives or subject to irradiation, thus enabling consumers to choose whether or not to incorporate these items into their diets once the FDA ensures their safety.
- Additionally, we urge the support of organic farmers by buying organically grown foods under standards and labeling by the FDA and/or the Department of Agriculture.
- ADA urges the federal government to fund further research into the consequences for humans and the environment of introducing genetically modified crops. Any products containing such ingredients must be clearly labeled.
Social and Domestic Policy