health & disease

What are the concerns about antibiotics in food animals?

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The use of antibiotics in animal agriculture fuels discussion based on few facts and much misinformation. Dispel many of those myths as you review these presentations from the National Institute for Animal Agriculture's 2011 Antibiotic Use In Food Animals, held October 26-27, 2011, Chicago, IL, USA.

How Does Heat Impact Poultry Diets With DDG's?

Heat Impact Poultry Diets With DDG

Purdue Graduate Research Assistant Mike Banks shares his research on how heat affects dried distillers' grains (DDGs) in poultry diets.

What are the Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability?

Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops

This comprehensive report from the National Academy of Sciences aims to provide an in-depth analysis, a report of its findings, and offer recommendations on the issues and opportunities.

In general, the committee finds that genetic-engineering technology has produced substantial net environmental and economic benefits to U.S. farmers compared with non-GE crops in conventional agriculture. However, the benefits have not been universal; some may decline over time; and the potential benefits and risks associated with the future development of the technology are likely to become more numerous as it is applied to a greater variety of crops. The social effects of agricultural biotechnology have largely been unexplored, in part because of an absence of support for research on them.

From the report (p. 213), there are five key challenges facing genetically engineered crops:

  • The success of genetic-engineering technology in the United States has altered the seed industry by spurring consolidation of firms and integration with the chemical industry.
  • How the intensive use of current and prospective GE organisms will directly affect the natural environment differently from other agricultural production systems is incompletely understood.
  • Progress in developing GE varieties for most “minor” crops (e.g., fruits and vegetables) and for other “public goods” purposes not served well by private markets has been slow.
  • The presence of transgenic material in non-GE products should be addressed.
  • U.S. farmers who grow GE crops may face market restrictions from some countries or retail firms on the importation or sale of the crops or products made from the crops.

Mycotoxin Binder Research - Do They Work For You?


Jessica Nixon, Poultry Science graduate student at North Carolina State University, shares her research on effectiveness of the mycotoxin binding solutions currently on the market.  While some producers have better luck with some products than others, Jessica's research shows a definate feed efficiency response.

What Happened At The International Pig Veterinary Society?


Dr. Bob Morrison, University of Minnesota, reviews presentations from 2010 International Pig Veterinary Society (IPVS), with Dr Gordon Spronk, Pipestone System; Dr. Tom Wetzel & Dr. Jeff Husa, Boehringer Ingelheim; Robert Barsch, MN Pork Producer; and Allison Collins, Research Scientist, Australia's Animal Health Research Unit.

Does Media Present Science Fairly?


Science in the media can be very hard to explain. This is especially true when the topic, like genetically modified organisms (GMO), is very technical, not very sexy, or controversial. In the case of GMOs, some media outlets cater to the confusion and aim to be sensational. Unfortunately, this approach distorts the facts and may cause consumers to make inaccurate statements about what they eat, buy, or recommend.

On December 7, 2010, Dr. Pamela Ronald, a distinguished plant scientist at the University of California – Davis, appeared as guest expert on the nationally-syndicated “Dr. Oz Show” to discuss the benefits of GMOs.

Unfortunately, what “played out” was way past disappointing. There was unbelievable bias in how the segment was edited to produce the “final” version that overshadowed the sound scientific facts about GMOs. I found it remarkable that much of what Dr. Ronald presented during the filming of the segment was edited “out” of the final version of the show!

It is important to understand how media uses fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) to derail constructive conversations about complicated subjects. Learn more from Dr. Terry Etherton and his response to the producers of the Dr. Oz Show.

Are There Concerns On How Farmers Are Perceived?

Perception of Iowa Farmers

While there is a generally positive view of Iowa farmers, there is public concern about the State of Iowa's air and water quality.

"My concern is on pollution," said John Fisher, 82, of Des Moines. "They have to use chemicals to gain their production, but I think they use too many."
Farmers have long enjoyed a mythic place in American culture, but a series of best-sellers and documentaries have blamed the obesity problem on agriculture, and corn in particular, and have portrayed producers as tools of greedy multinational agribusinesses.

These concerns are effecting policy and legislation, both at a state and national level.

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said the state should consider limiting how much commercial fertilizer farmers apply to crop fields. His re-election opponent, Republican Terry Branstad, said he would not support the proposal.
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