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American Feed Industry Association

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The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) is a lobbying organization "representing the business, legislative and regulatory interests of the animal feed and pet food industries and their suppliers."

Overview

According to AFIA's website, member organizations include 690 member companies representing almost 75% of commercial feed and pet food sold annually in the United States. Members include:

"manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, animal health companies, equipment manufacturers, large integrated livestock and poultry producers, and firms providing other goods and services to the commercial animal food industry. In addition, AFIA is also proud to count more than 35 state, regional, national and international associations among its membership." [1] AFIA supports and shares resources with the Animal Agriculture Alliance (AAA), according to the latter's 2004 annual IRS return. [2] It shares the same office address as AAA.

Food disparagement laws

Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber report in their book Mad Cow USA that AFIA was the primary organization behind drafting the "food disparagement laws" that were lobbied into law with the support of the American Farm Bureau Federation and other groups in the 1990s. On April 16, 1996, Oprah Winfrey was sued for the Texas crime of food disparagement when she aired a program warning of mad cow risks in the United States. [1]

Factory farming

On the average, Americans eat approximately 8 ounces of meat per day (about twice the global average). The United States slaughters approximately 15% of the world's total (for 5% of the world's population). However, global demand has also multiplied in recent years due to rising affluence and Confined animal Feeding Operations (CAFO)s or factory farms. These "animal factories" consume vast amounts of energy, generate pollution and environmental damage. They require increasing amounts of corn, soy and grains which has led to wide spread destruction of rain forests. [3] Organizations that support CAFO's include the American Feed Industry Association. [4] See also meat & dairy industry, sections 3 through 5.

Waste products fed to farm animals

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally banned the practice of feeding cow meat and bone meal back to cows in 1997 (after the Mad cow disease epidemic in Great Britain). However, dried poultry waste and sewage sludge are routinely fed to cattle. Pigs and chickens are still routinely fed the bones, brains, meat scraps, feathers, and feces of their own species. Furthermore, tens of millions of shelter animals are also picked up by rendering plants. Thus commercial meat, dairy, and egg products often come from animals whose diet included the ground up remains of cats and dogs, including the euthanasia drugs injected into their bodies. [5] 40 billion pounds a year of slaughterhouse wastes (blood, bone, viscera) and euthanized cats and dogs from veterinarians and animal shelters, are rendered annually into livestock feed. [6] Moreover, the FDA has been using inaccurate, incomplete, and unreliable data to track and oversee feed ban compliance. [7], [8]

Mad cow disease

In 1996, in response to the revelation that young people in Britain were dying from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), the human equivalent of Mad cow disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued seven recommendations. [9] Numbers 5-7 were recommendations for further research and 1-4 were concrete recommendations. The United States continues to violate all four guide lines; number one being to stop feeding animals to other other. [10] See also World Health Organization, section 7.

Lobbying & public relations

In the fiscal year ending in 2008, AFIH paid $80,000 to Policy Directions Inc. [11]

Contact details

AFIA 1501 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1100,
Arlington, VA 22209
E-mail: afia AT afia.org
Phone: (703) 524-0810
Fax:(703) 524-1921.

Web: http://www.afia.org/

Articles & sources

SourceWatch articles

References

  1. About, American Feed Industry Association, accessed September 2009
  2. Financial Documents, Guidestar.org, 2004
  3. Mark Bittman Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler, New York Times, January 2008
  4. John Robbins Old McDonald had a Factory, Celsias.com
  5. Lynn Truong The Cost of Meat—The Public Health Argument, Wisebread, May 2007
  6. Michael Satchell, Stephen J. Hedges and Linda Kulman The Next Bad Beef Scandal?, U.S. News & World Report, August 1997
  7. Mad Cow Disease: Improvements in the Animal Feed Ban and Other Regulatory Areas Would Strengthen U.S. Prevention Efforts., U.S. General Accounting Office Congressional Report, January 2002
  8. Michael Greger, M.D. USDA Misleading American Public about Beef Safety, Organic Consumers Association, December 2003
  9. Consultation on Public Health Issues Related to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and the Emergence of a New Variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, World Health Organization, MMWR 45 (14); 295-6, 303, April 1996
  10. Michael Greger, M.D. U.S. Violates World Health Organization Guidelines for Mad Cow Disease: A Comparison of North American and European Safeguards, Organic Consumers Association, June 2003
  11. Annual Lobbying by Policy Directions Inc., Center for Responsive Politics, 2008

External articles