22 September 2007

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

I applaud “Antibiotic Runoff,” your Sept. 18 editorial about the abuse of antibiotics in industrial hog farms. It not only brings light to a serious issue, but also begins to make the connection between factory farm practices and consumer choices.

Farmers of hogs and all other types of food employ such indefensible methods not because they are cruel or irresponsible, but because for decades their consumers have demanded that the food they produce be cheap and abundant.

The legislative and regulatory remedies you suggest are valid, but they will not solve the problem alone. Eliminating factory farms and the like will happen only when a majority of consumers recognize their shared responsibility for the food system and start paying farmers a fair price.

Lisa M. Hamilton
Mill Valley, Calif., Sept. 18, 2007

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