FDA asked to ban poultry litter from feed

17-08-2009 | |

A consumer advocacy group Food Animal Concern Trust (FACT) is urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the use of poultry litter in cattle feed through a petition on its website.

The FDA considered such a ban after the nation’s first case of mad cow disease surfaced in 2003 but never took the action, reports state.

On the Food Animal Concern Trust (FACT) website, it states:

Would you feed animal waste to your dog or cat? Probably not. It’s dirty, disgusting and intuitively just seems wrong. Unfortunately, not all animals are so lucky. In areas of the United States where large cattle and poultry operations coexist, chicken waste (or, more accurately, ‘poultry litter’) is routinely fed to cows. Poultry litter consists primarily of manure, feathers, spilled feed and bedding material that accumulate on the floors of the buildings that chickens and turkeys. It can contain disease-causing bacteria, antibiotics, toxic heavy metals, substances that cause Mad Cow Disease, and even foreign objects such as dead rodents, rocks, nails and glass.

Surprisingly, this unhealthy and inhumane practice is legal and poorly monitored – creating unacceptable risks to human and animal health. The FDA needs to ban the use of animal waste as animal feed before human and animal health is further compromised.  For more information, check out www.filthyfeed.org.

The website goes on to say that many prominent groups have endorsed its efforts to elicit an FDA ban on feeding poultry litter to cattle. These groups include the Center for Food Safety, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Food & Water Watch, Humane Society of the United States, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, etc.

Natalie Berkhout Freelance journalist