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United States Suspends All Brazilian Meat Imports

Product safety concerns about meats coming into the U.S. from Brazil have resulted in several countries banning Brazilian meat, including the U.S., as an alarming amount of Brazilian meat has failed safety tests, BBC.com reports. Brazil is the world’s biggest red meat and poultry exporter, BBC said; sanitary conditions of the products are a huge concern.

More than ever, this highlights the importance of not only knowing where your meat comes from before you buy it, but also being aware of how it’s been raised. Since most major meat producers, be they beef, hog or chicken producers, are raising their animals on confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), it’s even more important to buy from local, small farm producers who can assure you that their meats are grass fed, free-ranging and hormone- and antibiotic-free.

Even if you do know your local CAFO farmer, the truth is that concentrated animal feeding operations are often run by contract farmers who are under the thumb of large corporations; the farmers often invest millions in facilities and equipment while being paid a flat rate, and therefore aren’t any different from someone you don’t know on the other side of the world.

Today, most meat sold in the U.S. is raised in CAFOs, which make it a practice of feeding low doses of antibiotics to their animals. Since 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are used by industrial agriculture for purposes of growth promotion and preventing diseases that would otherwise make their operations not viable, it’s up to you to speak out against this practice with your pocketbook.

Rethink where you buy your food. Look for farmers selling antibiotic-free meats raised organically and on regenerative farms. Support local farmers markets, where you can get to know the sellers and ascertain how the foods are raised, whether they are meats, fruits or vegetables. If you’re looking for wholesome raw milk, the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.
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