It is widely accepted that large commercial agricultural operations pose a significant risk to general public health. Millions of people each year, both here in the US and abroad, are affected by food-borne disease. Many of these diseases can be fatal. This is a problem which is actually growing, not shrinking, despite rapid medical advances in fighting these diseases and bacteria.
Animal waste is another very serious threat. Currently animals from large farming operations produce around 5 times more waste than humans per annum in the US. This waste produces chemicals which are detrimental to public health, and even deadly in some cases. The environment also feels the effects, with animal waste becoming an ever increasing source of pollution to water supplies and eco-systems of all sizes. As well as waste, animal hormones can also be a highly damaging source of pollution.
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