WRITER: DEBRA VENZKE
CONTACT: DAN MCMILLAN
UI COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Release: Oct. 2, 2001
UI to hold meeting on health issues surrounding concentrated animal feeding
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- An "Iowa Town Meeting" to discuss environmental
and public health issues related to concentrated animal feeding operations
will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16 at the Hotel Fort Des Moines
in Des Moines.
Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) -- large agricultural operations
where animals are kept and raised in confined situations -- have emerged as
a top environmental health concern among rural residents in Iowa. The town
meeting, co-sponsored by the University of Iowa Environmental Health Sciences
Research Center (EHSRC) and the National Institute of Environmental Health
Sciences (NIEHS), will provide a forum to discuss these concerns and present
the most recent scientific information on the subject.
"We hope to bring together representative stakeholders in a climate
of scientific and informed discussion of the environmental health issues that
surround the growth of relatively large-scale concentrated animal feeding
operations," said Peter S. Thorne, Ph.D., UI professor of occupational
and environmental health and director of the EHSRC.
Topics to be discussed include the changing structure of agriculture; air,
soil, and water quality; environmental contaminants; anti-microbial resistance;
and toxic exposures. Kenneth Olden, Ph.D., director of the NIEHS, will participate
in the meeting to learn about community concerns and to inform participants
about the role of NIEHS in safeguarding environmental health. Iowa Gov. Tom
Vilsack has been invited to deliver the keynote address.
Stakeholders such as farm community members, livestock producers, farm organizations,
environmental groups, members of the scientific community, governmental officials
and legislators are invited to attend the meeting.
The meeting is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required
by Nov. 1. Registration forms can be downloaded or completed online at www.public-health.uiowa.edu/townmeeting.
Forms also can be obtained by contacting Robin Ungar at (319) 335-4541 and
returned to her attention by fax at (319) 335-4225.
A conference summary will be published and distributed to community groups,
farm organizations, the Iowa legislature, the NIEHS and other participants.