Sound Science Is Deception

Submitted by Jim Goodman, dairy farmer from Wonewoc, Wisconsin

Food is big business, everyone eats. Global food production is about profit.

In the North, store shelves are always full. It’s cheap, were told it’s safe, healthy and suddenly it’s sustainable, because sustainable sells.

Sustainable agriculture used to be defined by peasant farmers, by organic farmers; farmers who avoided using pesticides on their crops, farmers who avoided using antibiotics and hormones on their livestock, farmers who relied on integrated farming practices to make their farms regenerative — sustainable.

Now, Monsanto bills itself as a leader and innovator in sustainable agriculture. Elanco tells us technology yields sustainability and Elanco president Jeff Simmons tells us that “access to safe, proven, efficiency-enhancing technologies ensures: the three rights”, Food as a basic human right, Choice as a consumer right, and Sustainability as an environmental right.

What, biotechnology giants are standing up for the rights of people and the environment? The same corporations who for decades have ridiculed consumer protests and environmental concerns because their technology, their GMO’s (Genitally Modified Organisms), their crop protection chemicals, their seed patents were all based on “sound science”?

But, “sound science” has no scientific definition. It does not mean peer reviewed, or well documented research. “Sound science” is only a term, an ideological term, used to support a particular point of view, policy statement or a technology. “Sound science” is little more than the opinions of so called “experts” representing corporate interests.

For example, if the public has concerns about the environment, our health or the safety of our food after  having been forced to accept scientific advancements like agricultural biotechnology, highly toxic pesticides, or “fracking”, our concerns are blown off because they are not based on “sound science”.

Without doubt, these practices are, inherently unsafe and in the case of GMO’s, ineffective as well. In the end, they are of benefit only to the industries that own the technology. And because our society is so afraid of doing anything that might anger industry, or give industry a reason to outsource more jobs, science that does not support industry is not ”sound science”.

Simply put, “sound science” always supports the position of industry over people; corporate profit over food safety, the environment and public health. So when someone says something is based on “sound science”, get ready to be duped.

“Sound science “is really all about deception.  It paints a picture that is hard to resist, a story we want to believe. We wanted to believe that smoking was good for us, that nuclear energy was completely safe, that dioxin was not a problem —- all stories backed by “sound science”.

Farmers wanted to believe that if they bought into the GMO system, they would actually make money, but the dream turned on them. Patented seeds, the cost of fertilizer and chemicals pushed the small farmers out of business, their farms gobbled up by the corn/soy mono-culture that made Monsanto, Cargill and all the other multi-national agri-business corporations rich.

Peasant farmers in the global South were pushed off their land, rain forests were cleared to grow more corn and soy and rural communities could no longer feed themselves.

Simmons also tells us, hunger should not be happening in the United States. He is dedicating his life to ensure that everyone has food security. “ There is no issue more important in the next seven years than food security. A healthier, more sustainable, more peaceful world is possible. We’ve talked enough. We have enough technology. Now is the time to act.”

So, people are hungry because there is not enough food. “Sound science” and technology are needed to grow more food and the owners of the seed patents, proprietary chemicals, the grain processors and meat packers will give the technology and food to those who need it?

Sure.

People are hungry because they are poor and they are poor because the corporate system has outsourced their jobs, ruined their local economy and taken their land away.

Farmers cannot feed people when seeds are patented and cost more than they are worth.

Farmers cannot feed people when the crop protection chemicals they must use poison the water and the air.

Farmers cannot feed people when local markets are destroyed by a global food system and when the “sound science” they are told will make them profitable and help them feed the hungry turns out to be a lie.

GMO’s are safe and they hold the promise of feeding the world. Really? On vary rare occasions the “sound science” gets debunked by those behind the science.

GMO’s will not feed the world “If anyone tells you that GM is going to feed the world, tell them that it is not… To feed the world takes political and financial will.” – Steve Smith, head of GM company Novartis Seeds UK (now Syngenta), public meeting on proposed local GM farm scale trial, Tittleshall, Norfolk, UK, 29 March 2000 .

 

 

 

 

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“It Takes A Rich Land To Support A Democracy” — Sterling North

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Others  wrote in 1937, at the height of our Depression, frequently calling attention to the parallel between impoverished land and impoverished people.  In 1938 Sterling North of the Chicago Daily News wrote, “Ardently as I have scanned the writings of Europe’s half –pint Napoleons I find but one undoubted truth uttered between the two of them.  Each has said in effect, “It takes a rich land to support a democracy.’”  North continued, “Every time you see a dust cloud, or a muddy stream, a field scarred by erosion or a channel choked with silt, you are witnessing the passing of American democracy…The crop called Man can wither like any other…”

-Sterling North

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Website takes the CAFO conversation to next level

RestoreKewaunee screen shot

RestoreKewaunee is a website done by both a lakeshore homeowner and Kewaunee County business owner.  The site graphically addresses industrial agriculture and the controversial issues it presents in our beautiful Kewaunee County.
The site is restorekewaunee.com and the author, Alice Chalmers, can be reached by email which is on the bottom of each site page. Please visit the RestoreKewaunee website and on Facebook.
We thank RestoreKewaunee for its content that continues to bring the conversation and our commitment to addressing these problems forward!
Kewaunee CARES

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Water Sampling Results May-June 2014

 

 

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Printed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

As voluminous amounts of animal wastes continue to mount in the Dairy State, Wisconsin farmers are looking to dispose of some of these wastes through spray irrigation of manure. Not a widely implemented practice in the state, manure disposal in this form reduces wastes into particulate droplets, which are easily ingested and breathed in by living organisms, including human beings.

The health threats of this type of waste disposal, dispersed in an aerosolized spray, includes both Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and E. coli and more than 160 known pathogens, viruses and bacteria, along with additional lagoon contents, including antibiotics, hormones, chemical barn cleaners and quite possibly the compounded toxicity of industrial wastes.

The release of this toxic soup, sprayed into the air breathed by all of us, should be cause for alarm.

The Clean Air Task Force reports “that among airborne particles, the smallest, fine particles are of gravest concern because they can be inhaled deeply, absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to vital organs.” The hazard of these particles in the air come with the increased threats of asthma, heart and pulmonary problems and elevated risks to the young, elderly and immune-compromised individuals.

Children are the most vulnerable victims to the dangers of spray manure and volatile compounds including ammonias, hydrogen sulfide, methane and a host of other emissions. Lung damage in children is permanent and irreversible.

The dispersal of harmful particulates under the guise of “nutrients” is wrong. The reality of “drift” and “fugitive emissions,” which cannot be captured or controlled, put us all at risk for exposure to pathogens, viruses, bacteria and toxic chemicals. We cannot afford to use human beings in a study that has such blatant disregard for human health and the rights we all have to breathable air.

The rights of Wisconsinites should be defended and our air and water sources protected from the widespread threats of spray irrigation of manure, which the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection hope to implement statewide.

People deserve the right to clean air and water and to not live in fear of a toxic trespass that contaminates, poisons and has the ability to grievously harm human health.

The great experiment of spray irrigation of manure must be stopped. We believe that this practice will damage our air and water quality, human health, our communities, property values and tourism and will include the loss of the good image of farming in the state.

Spray irrigation of manure and the toxic compounds dispersed through an airborne transport carry with them the potential to cause great and immediate harm to human health.

Nancy L. Utesch is from Kewaunee.

Read original article here.

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June 15, 2014 · 8:30 am

John Hopkins Researchers Express Concerns About Rural Health

Previously posted on April 2, 2014

In a recent letter to Kewaunee Cares, six researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future wrote to express their concerns about some of the public health and environmental concerns associated with the generation and management of manure from intensive livestock operations.

Conclusion: For thousands of years, manure has been valued by farmers for its roles in building soil quality and increasing crop yields. Producing livestock such that they generate more manure than can be utilized by nearby cropland is not only a waste of this important resource, it is also a public health and environmental problem. A growing body of evidence has implicated the generation and management of manure from intensive livestock operations in the spread of infectious disease (including antibiotic-resistant strains), the introduction of microbial and chemical contaminants into ground and surface waters, impacts to air quality, and the wide range of adverse health, social, ecological and economic outcomes that result from these events.

Read the entire 12-page letter in the pdf file attached here: 2014-03-27 Manure from intensive livestock operations-1

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An Opinion About CAFOs

The June, 2014 issue of ACRES magazine includes an opinion piece written by Nancy Utesch, a local Kewaunee County citizen and farmer. With this and other op ed pieces, Nancy has voiced the concerns of many regarding the quality of life and health living near CAFOs. Her words have reached many locally, regionally and nationally bringing greater awareness of the challenges of protecting our air, water and land.

ACRES opinion article

Read the entire article, provided with permission of ACRES, at the link below.

June14_Opinion

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