CHEFS 4 THE PLANET

THE GLOBAL INFORMATION AND SOLUTIONS NETWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE GASTRONOMY

THE GLOBAL INFORMATION AND SOLUTIONS NETWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE GASTRONOMY

The meat of the matter: Environmental dissemination of beef cattle agrochemicals

A recent Point of Reference article, “The meat of the matter: Environmental dissemination of beef cattle agrochemicals,” published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, points at synthetic chemical cocktails being emitted from cattle feed yards into the environment and how they can impact our ecosystem and our health.

Industrial meat production facilities have a bad reputation for their impact on the environment. Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are known to release greenhouse gases related to global warming and for discharge of manure to watersheds, which affects water quality. A less publicized impact of modern beef production is the excessive use of pharmaceuticals and pesticides, which end up in the environment. The animal production agriculture sector holds the record as the single greatest consumer of antimicrobials. Dust from feed yards typically contains antibiotics, synthetic steroids (growth hormones) and pesticides. At a time, when honeybee population decline is a hot topic, it is curious that the dust emitted each day from feed yards in the US alone theoretically contains enough permethrin to kill over a billion honeybees per day.

Since many feed yards, especially those in the US, occur in arid to semiarid regions, chemicals associated with manure particles can be transported on windborne dust over large distances. As a result, open-air beef cattle feed yards may collectively represent one of the largest unconstrained and unrecognized sources of pesticide and antimicrobial emissions on earth. Humans and wildlife, including birds and mammals, may be exposed to these chemicals either directly or indirectly.

Read the rest here: https://phys.org/news/2021-01-meat-environmental-dissemination-beef-cattle.html

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