Food Safety News –
Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, and the Food Animals Concern Trust (FACT), a Chicago-based animal welfare organization, presented a petition signed by 37,000 people to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Friday asking the agency to ban the practice of feeding poultry waste to cattle.
Poultry waste, known as “poultry litter” is generally comprised of feces, sawdust, feathers, spilled feed, and anything else that might accumulate on the floor of a chicken or turkey coop. The byproduct is added to livestock feed because it has nutritional value and it is cheap.
The FDA estimates that cattle are fed between 1 and 2 million tons–several billion pounds–of poultry litter annually.
“It seems ghoulish, but it is a perfectly legal and common practice,” said Michael Hansen, PhD, a senior scientist with Consumers Union.
According to Consumers Union, in addition to the mix of feathers and feces, poultry litter can contain “disease-causing bacteria, antibiotics, toxic heavy metals, restricted feed ingredients including meat and bone meal from dead cattle, and even foreign objects such as dead rodents, rocks, nails and glass.”
The strange practices of the USDA, regarding beef, are further discussed in the provided link entitled “E.Coli & Feces Both Allowed by USDA“.
The FDA denies all claims of health hazards from feeding poultry waste to cattle, as seen in the following link entitled “Utilization of Poultry Littler as Feed for Beef Cattle“. Nevertheless, the National Institutes of Health has reported that a substance in red meat makes people more likely to become ill from E. coli infections, as describe in the provided link entitled “Contaminated Meat Cited in USDA Report on Pesticide, Antibiotics, Heavy Metals“.
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