The topic of mRNA vaccines have no doubt caused a stir - to put it lightly. We've all experienced heated exchanges between friends and family, regardless of what side we are on this issue. We all want to be healthy but disagree on how we arrive at that. At Pumpkin Creek Ranch, we have our opinions but realize that our customers are not interested in hearing them - until mRNA vaccines for livestock hit the internet.
Most of the Ag community, at least in our circle, was caught a little off guard when this hit. We hadn't seen any mRNA vaccines available, but to be fair, we don't pay much attention to this anyway. The NCBA released an article quelling concerns calling them "falsehoods."
There is an mRNA vaccine being developed
We then found this from the USDA sourcing Iowa State University's article - NOVEL MRNA VACCINE TECHNOLOGY FOR PREVENTION OF BOVINE RESPIRATORY SYNCYTIAL VIRUS. It appears to be on the horizon for cattle and is already here for pork, though we don't foresee it being mandated at this time.
Thanks to Gregory Bloom's reporting *hat tip, it appears that mRNA has been used in pork since 2018. We had no idea; I bet you didn't, either. Greg also pointed out that the EU has deemed bugs as appropriate additives to food - we have no guarantee that this will be clearly labeled to consumers either.
Who grows your beef?
A significant disconnect between the consumer and the producer has been growing for many years. Most people who purchase food in supermarkets do not know where their food comes from or how it is produced. This is because the food supply chain has become increasingly complex, with multiple intermediaries between the producer and the consumer. Along with vaccines, traceability has been a hot-button issue as producers have enjoyed anonymity as their product is blended with everyone else's.
Imagine standing at the Mississippi Delta and trying to determine what water originates from the Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, and Red rivers.
Large-scale agricultural production, along with industrial processing and distribution, has made it difficult for consumers to connect with farmers and understand the origins of their food. In addition, consumers often lack transparency about the environmental and social impacts of their food choices, which further contributes to the disconnect.
Trust is at an all-time low
Why would producers not support the consumer tracing their food back to them? For one, the number of hands that touches the product before the consumer gets it can alter its quality. Farmers and ranchers shouldn't carry the entire burden of quality when so many in the middle can manipulate it. Also, the current system doesn't motivate the producer to think of the consumer when they are trying to hit their gain percentage to pay the land note. As a result, consumers are often unable to make informed decisions about their food choices, and farmers are unable to respond to consumer demands. This disconnect has led to a loss of trust and understanding between the two groups, making it challenging to create a sustainable and equitable food system.
This trust is only further broken with the introduction of new medical technologies, such as mRNA, not requiring any major disclosure - and of course, bug additives.
How do we fix this?
So what is the fix? Shorten the supply chain. Systematically this is impossible, as we will never defeat the giants in the industry. However, consumers can vote with their dollars by finding the local producer and buying solely from them. With these local, trusted relationships, consumers can have transparency about what they are eating. This isn't because the label says the right thing or the packaging creates a positive emotional response; it's because the producer MUST produce what the customer demands. Another problem solved by a basic free market built on trust and transparency.
What will Pumpkin Creek Ranch Do?
Where does that leave the mRNA vaccines clearly being used and developed for livestock? We don't know, but it will happen. However, Pumpkin Creek Ranch beef will never use them. No matter what "experts" or "industry smart people" suggest, demand, or try to scare us on, we will not adopt this. You can not improve nature. God created it perfectly, and the more in line we are with that, the healthier we'll all be...even if a politician or a pharmaceutical salesperson disagrees.
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