Vilsack Going South on Us

My low expectations for Secretary Vilsack (USDA) were briefly raised with Kathleen Merrigan’s appointment to the #2 spot over there (see post here).  Then I read stuff like this, where Vilsack tells Congress that the “vast, vast, vast majority of farmers who are raising livestock are very sensitive” to the need to be careful about […]

Don’t think about (contagious) elephants: Whose job is it to combat and contain tuberculosis?

This piece originally appeared on Salon As animal lovers mourn the death of iconic Oregon Zoo elephant Packy, who was euthanized because he carried drug-resistant tuberculosis, while also fighting against the Department of Agriculture’s recent assault on transparency, we’d be wise to consider the links between the two seemingly disparate events. Packy’s unnecessary death should be a […]

The Return of the Bully Pulpit — Obama´s Conservation Initiative

David Cassuto Children in the United States spend about half as much time outside as their parents did.  Between 1995 – 2020, more land will be converted to housing in the Chesapeake Bay area than in the previous three and a half centuries.  Theodore Roosevelt is one of Barack Obama´s favorite presidents.  And President Obama will […]

No Humane Slaughter? No Problem (because) No Standing

David Cassuto The 9th Circuit recently decided Levine v. Vilsack, a case challenging the  ongoing failure of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to include birds under the auspices of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA).  The case was brought by a group of plaintiffs in 2005, claiming that “inhumane methods” of poultry […]

Chipping Away at Big Food

This article declaring that red meat leads to a greater risk of death provides a glimpse of the problems the nation faces regarding its approach to food.  As an initial matter, the risk of death for each and every one of us is 100%.  The author obviously meant that meat consumption can lead to an […]

Federal Ban on Consumption of Downed Cows

In his weekly address yesterday, President Obama declared a federal ban on the slaughter of “downed” cows (cows who are unable to walk or sometimes even stand on their own while being led slaughter) for food.   This is a great victory as downed cows are prevalent due to the negligible medical care they receive on […]