FDA targets free-range, pastured poultry and eggs with ridiculous new draft guidance

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by Jonathan Benson

(NaturalNews) America’s small farmers are once again under attack, this time by a  new draft guidance issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that  threatens to eliminate truly free-range and pastured poultry and eggs. Entitled  “Questions and Answers Regarding the Final Rule, Prevention of Salmonella  Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Storage, and Transportation,” the  new agency report basically suggests that all egg producers with 3,000 or more  laying hens be forced to raise their birds indoors to avoid bacterial  contamination, which would eliminate consumer access to chicken and eggs from  birds raised naturally outdoors on pasture.
In response to a slew of  illness outbreaks that have occurred in recent years, the FDA has once again  sidestepped the real problem, factory chicken farms, and instead focused its  attention on small-scale producers, which generally are the only farms producing  truly safe and healthy eggs. Even though large-scale factory chicken farms are  the ones brimming with harmful bacteria, which is a direct result of birds being  crammed into tiny cages and left to wallow in their own feces and filth, the FDA  is going after family-scale egg producers that allow their birds to roam around  in natural sunlight and peck at worms and insects in pasture  grasses.
According to the FDA’s recommendation for a final ruling on  “safe” hen rearing, all farmers with 3,000 or more birds will need to  essentially convert their outdoor areas into indoor areas by surrounding their  fields with tall fencing and covering the tops with mesh or solid roofing in  order to prevent wild birds, rodents, and other creatures from entering the  space. Having open, outdoor spaces for laying hens, according to the FDA,  is now considered to be dangerous and a threat to public health, so it will have  to be eliminated.
Never mind the fact that pasturing poultry has always  been the safest way to produce food from chickens — the FDA wants all birds to  be confined indoors in so-called “sanitary” spaces where they will allegedly be  protected from all the soil, grass and other natural elements on which chickens  have always lived. Only man-made structures that completely insulate birds from  the outside world are considered appropriate for laying hens in the eyes of the  FDA.
“The FDA guidance suggests that farmers must cover their outdoor  pastures with either roofing or netting, or use noise cannons to scare away wild  birds,” explains The Alliance for Natural Health USA (ANH-USA). “FDA also  advocates walls around the pasture, to prevent mice, rats, and cats from  entering, and then put a roof over it. That’s right — walls and roofing. In  other words, they want the chickens to be kept in a building!. This  completely contradicts what ‘free-range’ is supposed to be about: they can be  cage-free, but not outdoors.”
You can read the complete FDA guidance  here: http://www.fda.gov

Tell the FDA to go after filthy industrial producers, not free-range  producers

The good news, however, is that this new FDA guidance is only a  draft, which means the agency is still receiving public comments on the issue.  This means that, as an advocate of natural health, you have the  opportunity to help guide the process along and ensure that pasture-based egg  and poultry producers are  not unfairly targeted and forced to convert their methods to unscientific ones  that have been concocted to reflect the interests of factory  producers.
You can urge the FDA to reevaluate its position on pastured  poultry and instead go after the factory-scale producers responsible for nearly  all disease outbreaks by submitting a comment through the Federal Register. The  FDA will accept public comments on this issue until September 23,  2013: http://www.regulations.gov
Learn more:  http://www.naturalnews.com/041996_FDA_free-range_poultry_pastured_chicken.html#ixzz2ehQOxcIv