What Is a CAFO? – Earth911

    Factory farms tend to move in and out of the public consciousness. People become briefly alarmed at news of antibiotic-resistant bacteria or epidemics. But they continue to purchase inexpensive meat at the grocery store as headlines change to other topics. CAFOs, the official term for industrial-scale meat-growing facilities, have serious implications for animal rights, environmental pollution, and even environmental justice. Although CAFOs produce nearly all meat eaten in America, consumers can find better options.

    What is a CAFO?

    CAFO stands for concentrated animal feeding operation (or sometimes confined animal feeding operation). In a telling detail, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, rather than the FDA, legally defines CAFOs.

    It defines CAFO as any animal feeding operation where:

    • Animals are kept and fed for 45 days or more in a 12-month period, and
    • Crops or…

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