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.
Despite a quarter of a century of effort by farmers, citizens, environmentalists, and government officials to address pollution in the streams, rivers and waterways of the Chesapeake Bay region, agricultural fertilizers, animal manure and soil erosion remain the watershed’s single largest source of pollution. Without an ambitious effort to fairly but effectively regulate pollution coming from farm fields throughout the watershed, there is simply no chance that the Chesapeake Bay watershed will recover.Read More
Without an ambitious effort to fairly but effectively regulate pollution coming from farm fields throughout the watershed, there is simply no chance that the Chesapeake Bay will recover. The time has come to solve the primary obstacle to cleaner water in the region’s streams, rivers, and Bay: reliance on a failed voluntary approach to agricultural pollution and inadequate regulatory backstops.
A frayed regulatory framework and dependence on voluntary action has done little to mitigate the damage from agricultural activities in the six states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.Read More
The Hill, Jim Snyder
Meanwhile, environmental groups are focusing on another delicate issue: carbon offsets.Read More
By Olga Naidenko, EWG Senior ScientistRead More
The American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), narrowly approved in the House, is an important first step toward slowing climate change.Read More
As the East Coast monsoon season slogs on, there's carnage in the garden. The dandelions and plantains are elbowing the grass aside, and the morning glory vines are garrotting the daylilies. Over at Strosnider's Hardware, that bottle of Roundup is looking pretty fetching.Read More
The US Geological Survey reported today that nutrient loading in the Gulf of Mexico will be among the highest measured in the past 30 years. This news underscores how decades of broken funding promises are a big reason why agriculture is a leading cause of pollution in American lakes, rivers, and streams.Read More
The Mississippi River flows more than 2,000 miles from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico and is the world’s third-largest river basin. Millions of residents get their drinking water from the Mississippi. The River supports a vast array of economic, commercial, and recreational activities.
Agriculture is a leading source of water pollution in the 10 states that border the Mississippi River. Agriculture is also the leading source of pollution causing the “Dead Zone” at the mouth of the Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexico.Read More
President Obama’s proposed budget continues the long string of broken promises that have left conservation programs billions short over the past two farm bills. While the White House and the US Department of Agriculture rightly communicate that farmers are a critical component in the fight against global warming, their budget proposes to cut the very programs that can help them win.Read More
Making good on his promise to find savings in the federal budget, president Obama announced several proposed cuts today that could help reform a broken farm subsidy system. The most promising proposal centers on a total payment limit of $250,000 per person, down from the current $750,000 per person and $1.5 million per farm couple limit set in the 2008 farm bill.Read More
Fresh fruits and vegetables for the First Family, school kids playing in the dirt at the White House. A reminder to Americans that food actually comes from the Earth - who's going to object to Michelle Obama planting a garden on the White House lawn?Read More
Everybody knows that using one technique to solve a diverse set of problems often doesn't work. But somebody forgot to tell that to the creators of the Green Revolution.Read More
For the first time, the U.S. Geological Survey has identified the top 150 polluting watersheds in the Mississippi River Basin that cause the annual 8,000 square-mile “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. Based on the USGS report released today, members of the Mississippi River Water Quality Collaborative urge the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state policy makers to use the report to solve water quality problems both within the states and downstream in the Gulf.Read More
Senate Budget committee chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) announced yesterday he would reject President Obama’s plan to cut billions in crop subsidy payments that flow mostly to large profitable farm operations and wealthy landowners.Read More
U.S. and state fishing subsidy programs have contributed more than $6.4 billion to commercial fishing operations between 1996 and 2004, accelerating depletion of once-bountiful fish species, according to a ground-breaking study by Renée Sharp, director of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) California Office and economist Ussif Rashid Sumaila, acting director of the Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia.Read More
Statement of Ken Cook President, Environmental Working Group Feburary 24, 2009 "President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack have done the public a great service by nominating Kathleen Merrigan for deputy secretary of agriculture.Read More
The agriculture provisions of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) open two loopholes that threaten to let coal-fired power plants and other big climate polluters off the hook and slow progress toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions.Read More