America's wetlands and prairies are being lost and our drinking water and food supplies are contaminated with toxic pesticides, fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics. The productivity of our farmland is being depleted, threatening future generations of farmers.
Many farmers are producing food in ways that protect family farms and the environment. But farm policies are doing too little to reward good stewardship and too much to underwrite unsustainable crop and animal production by the largest and most successful farm businesses.
A new EWG report reveals that from 2000 to 2013 a total of $4.4 billion in federal “prevented planting” crop insurance payouts went to farmers in 94 counties in the iconic Prairie Pothole Region of North and South Dakota – despite attempts by the government to rein in the program’s costs.Read More
American growers sprayed 280 million pounds of glyphosate on their crops in 2012, according to U.S. Geological Survey data. That amounts to nearly a pound of glyphosate for every person in the country.
The use of glyphosate on farmland has skyrocketed since the mid-1990s, when biotech companies introduced genetically engineered crop varieties (often called GMOs) that can withstand being blasted with glyphosate. Since then, agricultural use of the herbicide has increased 16-fold.Read More
The renewable fuel standard, the federal law that year after year requires refiners to blend more corn ethanol into gasoline, has caused millions of acres of grasslands to be plowed up and added millions of tons of carbon emissions to the atmosphere, a new study confirms.Read More
Ignoring the World Health Organization’s conclusion that the crop chemical glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans,” the Environmental Protection Agency has approved the glyphosate-containing herbicide Enlist Duo for agricultural use in nine more states. It had previously been approved for use on genetically engineered crops in six states.
Growing food takes a major toll on the environment, one that will grow worse in the coming decades as humanity faces the challenge of feeding a burgeoning population.Read More
At a hearing of the House Agriculture Committee this week, opponents of mandatory labeling of GMO foods trotted out the now familiar argument that genetically engineered crops are the key to feeding Earth’s mushrooming population.
Last week, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency released the alarming results of a study of waterways in the southwest corner of the state, reporting that only three of 93 segments it assessed was “fully supporting of aquatic life” and only one was “fully supporting of aquatic recreation.”
The 2014 farm bill will prove to be the most expensive ever thanks to new subsidies Congress added on top of the already costly crop insurance program, researchers at the University of Missouri said in an analysis released this week.
A new report shows that some farmers could receive larger payments under newly implemented crop insurance programs than they would have through the discredited -- and now defunct -- direct payments system.
A study of five representative Iowa counties shows that requiring simple buffer zones between crop fields and streams could get two-thirds of the way to the state's goal for reducing phosphorus pollution and one-fifth of the way to the nitrogen pollution target, while affecting only a tiny proportion of landowners and a vanishingly small percentage of row-crop acreage.Read More
The Obama administration’s fiscal year 2016 budget proposal contains two common-sense reforms to the broken federal crop insurance program that would save taxpayers billions of dollars and protect our land and water, EWG said in a statement.Read More