The Farm Bureau recently spoke out against Chipotle, criticizing an ad they ran during the Grammy Awards and defending modern agricultural practices.
The ad, which ran earlier this month, has generated a great deal of controversy. It depicts a farm gradually evolving into a large-scale agribusiness, forcing animals indoors, relying heavily on antibiotics, and generally mistreating livestock. The ad ends with the owner of the farm abandoning factory farming techniques and recreating the free-range conditions that the ad began with.
The Farm Bureau, in response to this ad, has issued a series of public statements defending the treatment of livestock and the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics in particular have been a controversial subject. Over the past year, a series of scientific reports have documented the existence of drug-resistant superbugs in significant quantities of supermarket meat. These superbugs, many argue, were created through liberal use of antibiotics on healthy farm animals. Farm advocacy groups disagree, claiming that antibiotics are a necessary tool.
Spokespersons for the Virginia Farm Bureau, for example, insist that antibiotics are only used on sick animals and that they are a necessary tool to ensure the health of herds.
According to the assistant director of the Virginia Farm Bureau, the ad is poisoning public perception. “When the average consumer, who has never been to a farm, watches the Chipotle spot or hears that McDonald’s is only going to buy meat from pork producers who don’t use gestation stalls, it reinforces the belief that modern farming practices aren’t good for animals or the food supply,” she said.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer