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Modernizing animal agriculture for a cleaner and healthier America: A policy memorandum to the Congress of the United States...

by Jasmine A Kreig, Sudershan Gangrade, Deeksha Rastogi, Ryan J. Daniels
Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Science Policy & Governance
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1 to 6

Through the Agricultural Act of 2014 (also known as the Farm Bill) and subsequent Farm Bills, the Congress of the United States can influence the agricultural sector in the US and impact the health of American citizens—the constituents they were elected to represent. In this memorandum, we outline the current state of animal agriculture, its resultant impacts on the environment and human health, and various policy proposals that Congress could enact to combat these issues. As of 2018, consumption of red meat (RM; includes beef, lamb, veal, and pork) in the US was 19.78 kg/capita higher than the global average (OECD 2018). Globally, animal agriculture accounts for approximately 15% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (FAO 2016) and contributes to poor health of individuals who consume red meat. These individuals are more prone to developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and obesity (Wenpeng et al.,2016). Through redistributing subsidies already allocated in the Farm Bill and incentivizing the consumption of alternative nutritious options (ANOs; i.e., vegetables, fruit, and alternative proteins), Congress could significantly reduce the environmental burdens and negative public health outcomes of animal agriculture.