Reason article

Jill Taylor Bussiere jdt at itol.com
Sun Jun 9 08:07:00 EDT 2002


Ahh, the Avery mentioned is, I believe, a relative of Dennis Avery, whose mission in life is to substitute organic food with petroleum fed GMO's, and sprayed with herbicides, which are made from natural gases. The Hudson Institute's Center for Global Food Issues, has the same mission- profits for agribusiness.

Although the author lists some of the benefits of no-till (a method that uses large amounts of pesticides....he didn't mention the study on residues on fruits and vegetables using the two methods....),  here are a few  thoughts to keep in mind while reading Avery's article....One of the reasons organic farming is more expensive is that it is not subsidized like "conventional" farming.  Note the latest farm bill, which channels 
huge amounts of money, more than ever, I believe, into agribusiness.  
The goal of agribusiness is to commodify food, cast the environmental 
costs onto the taxpayer, drive small and family farms out of business, 
and get as huge a profit as possible, using methods that have been 
proven to be environmentally destructive, one of them being use of 
GMO's.  The Farm Bill 2002 has just a few supports for organic farming - 
which is a step forward.  But it so subsidizes the unhealthy 
conventional system, that I wonder whether the few small supports will 
be able to make any headway.


The author has a point about organic farming and the mining of minerals - organic farmers do need to be careful of the mineral balance of the soil - and sometimes import minerals to achieve that balance.  Such use of minerals may not be sustainable - such farmers would need to be aware of how their soil amendments were attained.  Still, the conceivable damage from the securing of amendments pales in comparison to the environmental destruction of attaining petroleum. - Jill
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