Food and Agriculture in 2 Minutes
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Writing for Vermont news site VTDigger, Jacques Couture criticizes recent calls for all Vermont dairy farmers to shift to organic farming. Couture, who himself is an organic dairy farmer, defends conventional farmers, attesting they equally care for the environment and the health of their animals. He also notes most conventional farmers produce milk that is just as safe, and many don’t have available pasture for organic operations. He contends it’s the farmer, not the farming, that makes the right choice for animals, the land, and the rest of the planet.
Meanwhile, American Council on Science and Health President Hank Campbell discusses a study by anti-neonic activists published in Science magazine that claims neonics are killing all the bees. Campbell explains levels of the pesticides found in honey are too low to be of concern, arguing that activists are publishing meaningless data to get neonicotinoids banned for no real reason. Campbell contends the study holds little validity and that bees are doing great even with neonic use.
In other pesticide news, “Farm Babe” Michelle Miller asserts activist groups like Center for Food Safety put people at risk by urging farmers to stop using the crop protection tools. In an article for AgDaily, Miller argues pesticides are necessary to protect crops as well as people, so farmers decide to use them to promote public health. She urges people to listen to science and researchers about the importance and safety of pesticides and promote the scientific truth.
Also calling for trust in science, Jim Greenword marked World Food Day by urging African nations to adopt sound biotech policies based on scientific research. Greenwood, CEO of BIO, contends the use of genetically engineered drought-resistant corn and rice crops can provide an essential solution to Africa’s famines. He asks the nations to not give into fearmongering tactics, and instead leverage new and safe agriculture technologies, like biotech crops, to fight hunger and advance their nations.
I’m Maya Menon for the Food and Ag report in Washington.