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No mRNA vaccines for our animals. What livestock vaccines are required anyway?

written by

Aaron Miller

posted on

April 21, 2023

vaccines-livestock.jpg

Our farm has gotten a slurry of emails and calls from rightfully concerned customers asking if we use or would use mRNA vaccines for our animals. That answer is simple.

No, we do not and will not use mRNA vaccines for our animals. 

In fact, we put an icon at the top of our homepage a couple months ago stating exactly this.

As for other vaccines, we have never and do not routinely vaccinate our animals. For various reasons, a select few of our animals have received vaccines in the past. We are working to slowly sell those animals and will be 100% vaccine-free by 2025. You can read more about our vaccination practices here.

For the rest of this blog post, let’s explore the current vaccination requirements for livestock and poultry and what developments there are in vaccines in food.

Vaccines in livestock and poultry are recommended, NOT required. It’s a choice.

Just like raw milk and marijuana, vaccination requirements in the United States are regulated state by state. Vaccinations are not regulated by the federal government. 

To my knowledge, there is no state that requires vaccines for fish, livestock, or poultry within their state. Right now, it’s the farmer or business’s choice to vaccinate or not.

However, if an animal travels from one state to another, the USDA or the state may require vaccination. 

Basically all states require some type of identification or veterinary certificate proving the animals are free of disease to cross a state line. Overall it seems that negative tests are valued more than vaccination. 

The USDA may require vaccination when there are state-federal disease eradication programs. And, there are some states that require vaccination for animals crossing the state line. For example, California requires entering dairy cows to be vaccinated for brucellosis before entry into the state.

Vaccines in food, especially mRNA vaccines, is definitely something to be concerned about in the future. 

As the health of humans, animals, and the planet declines more and more and as we continuously try to industrialize and engineer everything (ahem fake meat), vaccines are becoming more and more popular. As it stands now, there’s very little regulation, which makes creating new products relatively easy.

Here are some vaccine things that are in the works:

Some mRNA vaccines for livestock are here, and many are in development.

mRNA vaccines have already been licensed for pigs (and dogs and cats). Despite internet rumors, the fact is that none have been approved for cattle or poultry… yet. 

This isn’t new news. Big pharma companies have been working on developing mRNA vaccines for animals for a long time. For example, Bayer has been working with BioNTech on pet and livestock mRNA vaccines since 2016. They are coming soon!

Edible vaccines are being researched. 

People won’t need to remember to “get the shot”, they’ll get boosted every time they eat! Active research is being done on lettuce, corn, rice, wheat, bananas, and other foods. Gene editing is being used to turn plants into mini bioreactors that produce vaccines that you can eat.

Vaccines for insects are coming, too.

In January, the USDA gave conditional approval for the first vaccine for honeybees. It would protect them from American foulbrood, an aggressive bacterium that can spread quickly from hive to hive. To get full approval, the vaccine manufacturer would need to show proof of “safety, purity and certain degrees of efficacy”. If they do, this would be the first ever vaccine for insects.

The real concern here is informed consent. We should have the right to know if there are vaccines in our food. 

Right now, vaccines in food are like the Wild West. It’s lawless. A farmer or food producer does not need to provide any labeling that indicates whether vaccines were given or are present in a food. 

This is the opposite of informed consent. At Miller’s Bio Farm, we believe that everyone has the right to know exactly what they’re eating. That’s why we provide SO MUCH info on our site and are happy to answer any questions.

There are many lobbyists and legislators working toward requiring conspicuous labeling of vaccines in food. Unfortunately, they aren’t getting much movement.

Here are some recent or current bills:

  • Missouri’s HB1169 would require conspicuous labeling for any product that has the potential to act as a gene therapy or that could introduce genetic material to product’s users. Foods or products would need to be labeled with the words “gene therapy product“. 
  • Arizona’s HB2762 would require disclosure for products made from fish, livestock, and poultry that received mRNA vaccines and prohibits these from being labeled as organic. 
  • Idaho’s SB1018 and SB1093 would both prohibit the manufacture or sale of any food that contains a vaccine or vaccine material unless conspicuously labeled. 
  • Tennessee SB88/HB32 would prohibit the manufacture or sale of any food that contains a vaccine unless conspicuously labeled. 
  • Tennessee’s HB842/SB369 removes the requirement for livestock vaccines, allows mRNA vaccine-free meat labeling, and removes Ag commissioner’s authority to order livestock vaccines.

I’m very curious to see what the future holds for mRNA technology, food, and our right to choose.

The terminology around vaccines and GMOs is getting tricky. Here are some terms to look out for:

Bioengineered” is the new “GMO”.

Precision breeding” is a new term for genetically modified animals. In the UK, laws have been amended so that bioengineered “precision bred” animals can now be marketed as non-GMO.

Gene therapy” is what mRNA vaccines are. They are using gene editing technology to provide gene therapy. Similarly, “gene editing” is being used in the meat industry to create “better” animals.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to know your farmer, remove processed foods from your diet, cook at home, and vote with your fork.

If you want informed consent, if you want vaccine-free food, if you want natural logical ethical food, ask the questions. I know I will. We are creating a better food system together.

—--

Sources:

Farming Practices

Opinion

Health and Nutrition

Pastured Meat

Raw Dairy

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