EWG’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. In the Midwest we pursue our mission by working to move agriculture in a more sustainable direction. Farmland dominates the landscape and watersheds in the Midwest. The way that land is used and managed has profound effects on our health through the water we drink and the food we eat.
Farming can actually make water cleaner and the environment healthier. Farms doing exactly that are scattered across the Midwest. We bring a unique combination of remote-sensing, big data and landscape analysis to bear to build pressure to change policy to heal the damage done by poor farming practices and to build excitement about how much healthier the environment could be through often simple changes in the way we farm.
Critics of EWG research that highlights the runaway conversion of pasture, forest and rangeland to grow row crops like to claim that our findings are contradicted by the Census of Agriculture published by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. They say that the census shows that acreage under cultivation is actually dropping. There’s just one problem with that.
Many of the Democrats who lost their seats this week voted for the 2014 farm bill – only to see farm groups donate to their Republican opponents.Read More
According to a new study from the Department of Energy, corn ethanol has helped drive down the energy content in a gallon of gasoline by 3 percent since 1993. And less energy per gallon means fewer miles per gallon.Read More
Clean, cheap water from your tap might soon be a thing of the past.Read More
Policy makers seem to freeze with fear when confronted with terrifying algae. Regulatory and voluntary programs still haven’t produced a comprehensive and effective effort to stem nutrient pollution and combat the blooms. Left unchecked, water overloaded with nutrients willl cause more blooms in the future.Read More
Defenders of genetically engineered crops regularly claim that these varieties cut erosion by encouraging farmers to use tillage practices that enhance soil conservation.Read More
A new analysis by economists at Ohio State University and the University of Illinois concludes that lavish subsidy programs created in the 2014 farm bill could cost taxpayers billions more than expected.Read More
From 2003 through 2012, crop insurance premium subsidies cost taxpayers $42.1 billion – 72 percent of the federal crop insurance program’s total costs. If Congress had paid attention when it had the chance, it would have trimmed premium subsidies – instead of ballooning the deficit.Read More
The problem of drift could worsen if the Environmental Protection Agency approves Dow AgroSciences’s new weed killer, Enlist Duo, which contains 2,4-D and glyphosate.Read More
Corn-based ethanol is a major cause of the water pollution that is ravaging the Mississippi River basin and the Gulf of Mexico, a report by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) inspector general concluded this week (Sept. 4).Read More
A new audit from Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finds the agency’s strategy to reduce nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin and Gulf of Mexico is ineffective.Read More
Working with nature is not simple. But you can make a good living at it when you get your business model and growing system in place.Read More
In 2013, an Environmental Working Group report titled “WASHOUT” documented that soil erosion across Iowa farm land during that spring’s heavy rains had been far worse than previous estimates – in some cases carrying away a devastating 40 tons of soil in a single week from fragile and poorly protected fields. In many places, runoff carved “ephemeral gullies” as a result of growers’ inadequate conservation measures.Read More
A new survey of Iowa farmland finds that “ephemeral gullies” are still ravaging many crop fields despite a few welcome signs of improvement compared to a year ago. Unprotected fields were once again battered by spring storms this year, according to a report released today by the Environmental Working Group.Read More
Next Tuesday (Aug. 5), Missourians will decide if their state constitution should be amended to enshrine a so-called “Right-to-Farm” provision. The vaguely worded and open-ended amendment states, “the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state.”Read More
A new study from the University of Minnesota confirms what we’ve been saying – big agriculture is contaminating your drinking water.Read More
When people think about the causes of global warming, the food they eat typically doesn’t make the short list. But agriculture is responsible for 80 percent of human-caused emissions of nitrous oxide, which is a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
And now a new study by researchers at Michigan State University shows that using more fertilizers than crops need is even more harmful to the climate than previous estimates indicated.Read More
Although Minnesota has a unique policy designed to curb agricultural water pollution by requiring a 50-foot buffer zone between farmland and the state’s river and stream banks, less than a fifth of the waterways in the southern part of the state are fully protected, an Environmental Working Group report shows.Read More