Corruption in the Meat and Dairy Industry Mackenzie Cowan Mr. Hébert CPW4U114 December 2017 The constant lies and need for economic prosperity has caused the meat industry to become corrupt. The meat and dairy industries are sponsoring government funded health organizations such as the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association including the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) who have received large amounts of money from the meat and dairy industry in the form of sponsorships. They are encouraging people who are already sick to consume more of the food that poses adverse health effects. Their actions are allowing them to make laws and falsify health studies to benefit themselves, concealing the truth and continuing to allow them to make a profit. The industry is hiding information about the positive health benefits of a vegan/vegetarian diet while ignoring serious health risks that a meat and dairy filled diet can pose to humans. This diet increases and ignores the risk of numerous diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease in order to continue making a large economic profit. The industry also continuously pushes the idea that a vegan or vegetarian diet does not give you all of the nutrients and vitamins that you require. The meat and dairy industry knowingly creates risk through the use of antibiotics in animals and the possible development of antibiotic resistance to superbugs as well as making animals larger and much faster than normal. Lastly, there are environmental risks created by these industries to humans by using up the earth’s resources at a much faster rate, polluting the water and air surrounding the farms and causing permanent damage to the environment and the species. Along with the health crisis it is creating for all people, living around the meat and dairy farms is causing permanent and serious health effects such as cancer to the people living there. There is little concern from the meat or dairy industry about their effect on the environment or the people who are affected by the farms. In addition, the industries are unregulated allowing them to do whatever they want without any repercussions for their actions. Ultimately, these reasons have led to a horrendous amount of corruption in the meat and dairy industry. The meat and dairy industry have a large influence on the food that we eat, and what we believe to be healthy. Government industries such as the USDA and government funded health organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association, are backed by large meat and dairy companies despite the fact that there are proven health risks to eating meat and dairy. The American Cancer Society is funded by Tyson one of the world’s largest meat producers, and Yum who owns Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell. The American Diabetes Association is sponsored by Dannon one of the largest yogurt producers, Kraft Foods, and Bumblebee Foods a large producer of processed can meats. The American Heart Association is by far the worst in that they are sponsored by the Texas Beef Council, South Dakota Beef Industry Council, Kentucky Beef Council, Nebraska Beef Council, Tyson, Subway, Domino’s Pizza, Mars, Kraft and many more. These associations are being paid to recommend eating foods that cause these diseases. They are creating problems within the health industry and attempt to keep people sick in order to profit off them. The USDA creates a new food guide every five years, recommending what Americans should eat in order to be healthy. This guideline is created by a committee whose members have received money from the National Dairy Council, the American Meat Institute, the National Dairy Board and more. Foods that are unhealthy and even dangerous to consume are included in the food guide with many of these foods products sold by the the companies doing the funding. The members are being paid to add in food in order to push meat consumption by saying it is healthy thus encouraging more consumption. Through what are called check off programs, people are being told to eat more dairy and meat through programs such as “Milk is Life” and “Beef it’s what’s for dinner” that use catchy slogans to make the meat and dairy industry seem more appealing and easier to remember. The goal is to place these ideas into the minds of people. Many of these programs are children oriented advertisements using celebrities they know thus affecting their future buying decisions. The industry is starting to tell them from a young age that they require meat and dairy to be healthy and to grow big and strong. As well as in schools children are often being fed meat and dairy, with foods they love such as pizza while fruits and vegetables are not as often included in their diet. This starts their addiction to meat and dairy from a young age creating life long consumers for the meat and dairy industries. The Meat and Dairy industry spends 557 million dollars a year on promotion, pushing people to consume more and more meat and dairy and convincing more people to consume dairy and meat. They also spend 138 million dollars lobbying congress in the USA and this amount is probably higher but this is only the amount publicly disclosed. They are able to create laws that can protect the meat and dairy industries secrets through laws such as the Cheeseburger Law. This prevents the plaintiff from saying that the food they consumed made them obese or caused obesity related diseases as it protects manufacturers and retailers from being put in a position where they are to blame for an individual’s health problems. It makes it so they do not have to be held accountable for what is in their food and what problems it may cause. The next is the Ag-gag Law which criminalizes ‘whistle blowing’ on the abuses that take place in the meat and dairy industry. In the USA under this law they can be charged as terrorists by disrupting the businesses that use animals. This allows the meat and dairy industry to do anything they like since they can never be caught and they are not held accountable for their actions. The industries will even go as far as funding studies that give results to their own benefit. Such as the case when a 2011 study funded by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association that said they found no connection between colorectal cancer and red meat consumption while a few years later the World Health Organization reported that it was a fact that red meat cause colorectal cancer and numerous other studies and reports have come to the same result as well. There was even a study saying that chocolate milk can help with concussions used to push athletes to believe their view that milk is good for you but this was sponsored by the dairy industry in order to benefit their businesses. These fake or questionable studies are used to by the meat and dairy industries in order to keep making a profit, but ignoring the health crisis it will cause. They can create false or misleading reports and studies in order to further benefit themselves and very little is being done to stop them. The industries do not want people to stop buying from them so they make these false and misleading reports in order to reassure people that their food is okay for them to eat. This allows them to silence anyone who threatens their business as they do not want to be questioned or called out for what they are doing. Their goal is to silence or eliminate the people who try to tell the truth. They are able to buy laws to make themselves invincible to any trouble that may come towards them. The meat and dairy industry has become corrupted due the sponsoring of health organizations and the use of questionable health studies in order to further benefit themselves and make a profit.Despite the proven benefits of a vegan or a vegetarian diet governments have continuously hidden away the true facts stating that these diets are not healthy and do not give them the nutrients. This is done in part as a way to protect the meat and dairy industries and their profits from the truth that could destroy their industries. Health organizations continuously say that in order to be healthy we need to include meat and dairy in our diets saying that we need calcium for strong bones and meat for protein to help make us strong. These are lies we have been told since we were children while hiding away the truth that there are serious health effects to consuming both meat and dairy. In recent years the popularity of vegan and vegetarian has increased specifically as vegan diets are 6% of the United States populations now compared to a low 1% in 2014 identifying themselves as vegan. The numerous health benefits of a vegan or vegetarian diet are now being recognized. Vegan and vegetarian diets can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, and have a 25% less chance of dying from heart disease and it can also help to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is becoming an epidemic with 1in 10 people currently being affected with diabetes and by 2050 it is expected that 1 in 3 people will be affected by diabetes. Type 2 diabetes if often preventable and is most often caused by diet and lifestyle and there has been new evidence to suggest that a plant based diet could help to reduce the effects of diabete. Despite this fact the American Diabetes Association continues to advertise eating meat as a healthy part of a diet. The American Heart association continues to push people to eat chicken, turkey and other meat as part of a ‘healthy’ diet while the American Cancer Society advertises consuming meat despite the connection of between meat and cancer. The meat and dairy industry have kept the true risks of consuming both meat and dairy hidden away from the public. Humans were never really meant to consume dairy as it was meant for baby cows as we are the only species to consume another animals milk. Facts are that 65% of the population has some form of lactose intolerance with over 90% of the East Asian population being lactose intolerant. Milk has been proven to have a large amount of pus currently in the USA while the FDA allows for 750 million pus cells per litre. Our milk has is filled with pus and blood but yet we continue to consume it because we believe that it is the healthy thing to do. Dairy has also been proven to cause an increased risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Dairy is also very high in both saturated fat and cholesterol in cheese, milk, butter, yogurt, etc. This can lead to both an increase in heart disease along with other diseases. There are also numerous risks associated with consuming meat. Processed meats such as bacon and sausages are considered to be a group one carcinogen and they are rated the same way as smoking cigarettes a carcinogen which leads to an increased risk of developing cancer. It also leads in an an increased risk of colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancer, but the meat and dairy industries are allowed to hide this fact keeping it a secret that the food they are selling is killing people. As well as dairy, consuming meat significantly increases the risk of both heart disease and diabetes. As stated in meatonomics “Simply put, our heavy consumption of foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and other substances linked primarily or uniquely to animal foods has helped make us one of the sickest developed nations on Earth.”(xx) Despite all of these truths, the industries try to hide this away from the public by saying that a vegan/vegetarian diet could lead to a deficiency in vitamins such as vitamin B12. They claim our bodies are designed to consume meat and use the excuse that other primates eat meat, but other primates do not consume meat filled with chemicals or processed meat. The worst excuse of all is that meat tastes good so we should ignore all of the risks it poses to our health as well as damage it causes to the environment. If the meat and dairy industry acknowledged the truth it would cause them a severe loss of profits and telling the truth would destroy both the meat and dairy industries. The total cost of the industries that is imposed on society is a horrendous 414 billion dollars a year, through bills for healthcare, subsidies, environmental damage along with other costs of consuming meat and dairy. Along with the American taxpayers paying 38 billion dollars a year to subsidize these industries . If the truth came out people would be outraged it would cost their companies millions and millions of dollars in order to bail themselves out, all while continuing to promote foods that are making people seriously ill. The meat and dairy industry can not afford to lose all of this money, in order to protect themselves so they continue to hide the truth about meat and dairy, all while degrading a vegetarian or vegan diet for being wrong. Ultimately, the meat and dairy industry attempt to hide the true risks of consuming meat and dairy, in order to protect their companies value. The meat industry use of antibiotics pose a serious risk to human health as well as the meat and dairy industry having serious negative environmental effects. The meat and dairy industry have long been overusing antibiotics in growth and development of animals. As both industries cause serious issues to our environment including crisis in areas that surround these farms due to chemicals and run offs that is contaminating the air and water around them. Due to how corrupt the industries are and the system they created has become, there is very little regulations placed on these industries allowing them to do whatever they want without any real repercussions for what they have done. One of the major issues that the use of antibiotics is having on humans is the possible antibiotic resistance it may cause which in the future could lead to humans becoming immune to antibiotics when they are needed to treat illnesses such as superbugs that may occur. Antibiotic resistance could make it so going into minor surgery could be deadly since a person could die from a small infection. Simple dental surgery would have the possibility to kill a person. Superbugs can then move to humans spreading from the farm and antibiotics may have no ability to treat them since the animal would have taken antibiotics and the superbug was able to still live. Antibiotics were not intended to be put in our foods as there original purpose was to treat illnesses but now this has changed and they are used for a reason we were never intended too. Report show that 80% of antibiotics sold in US are used specifically in the meat industry. They are being used to order to make animals grow bigger and faster than they ever have in human history so they can have more animals as well as make a profit at a faster pace since they do not have to wait for the animals to grow or as long. Despite being encouraged to use antibiotics more wisely by the Centre for Disease Control there’s little to no change that has been made. The government has not forced them to fix the industry due to corruption and they are continuously allowed to use antibiotics. They continue to use antibiotics at a dangerous rate and this has the potential to severely harm humans. Dairy and beef cows used in agriculture cause approximately 51% of the world’s greenhouse gases. The emissions from this industry are not expected to get any better by 2050 when the emissions are expected to rise 80%. They release methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide into the environment. They pose a risk to air through emissions of gases causing a loss of species as well as harming air quality. They pose a risk to water due to overusing water in order to grow and feed cows as well due to runoff from manure this can pollute the water which can lead to a growth of algae in the water harming aquatic life. As stated in meatonomics “compared to plant protein, raising animal protein takes up to one hundred times more water, eleven times more fossil fuels, and five times more land. Without dramatic reform, the end game in the conflict between fixed resources and ever-increasing demand is likely to have a group of clear losers—the planet’s inhabitants.” This is the reality that we are facing, if we do not stop using animal agriculture the way we currently do it will eventually destroy the plant. Areas that surround these farms are at serious health risks as well due to the large amount of pollution in the air and water that they produce. Such an area is Duplin County North Carolina where there is one of the largest producer for pigs in USA with around 2.2 millions hogs living there posing a threat. An adult hog has 8-10 times the feces as an adult human. The feces runs off into the nearby water as well as being sprayed unfiltered onto the fields nearby and this has lead to a health issue where large numbers of people are developing cancer or asthma due to the feces around them. The Burnt River which is near a hog farm experiences large fish kills with thousands of fish washing up on the shores dead due to the pollution in the water. These farms are destroying the environment around them causing permanent damage. Despite all of this there little or very few restrictions on these factories and they are allowed to freely release the feces into the environment causing uncontrollable pollution and damage to the environment. The owners of these farms as well as the government have no real care for the people who live around these farms and are not acknowledging the negative health effects it is causing them. The industries do their best to hide the secrets, thinking more about their industries and trying to protect themselves rather than trying to help protect people health. Very little is being done to help protect the people around these farms because the industries refuse to acknowledge that their industries are causing severe health issues. Ultimately the uncontrolled use of antibiotics in the meat and dairy industry and the unregulated damage to the environment as well as the lack of concern for human health demonstrates the corruption in the meat and dairy industry. The constant lies and the need for economic prosperity has caused the meat industry to become corrupted. Through the meat and dairy industries sponsoring government funded health organizations such as the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and even the USDA have received money from the meat and dairy industries these organizations are pushing people to consume more of the food that is making them sick. Further to this it is allowing them to push laws through that benefit themselves in order to further hide the truth with little or no resistance form these organizations. At the same time their hiding of the positive benefits of a vegan/vegetarian diet while ignoring the numerous health risks that are connected to a meat and dairy filled diet. The meat and dairy industry are hiding the risks that are posed through the use of antibiotics leading to possible antibiotic resistant superbugs. Lastly they are hiding or ignoring the damage the meat and dairy industry pose to the environment and the healthcare crisis people living around the meat and dairy industry without any repercussions for their actions. Ultimately these reasons have led to corruption throughout the meat and dairy industry.