Whose Agriculture Drives Disease?

By Alex Liebman, Ivette Perfecto, and Rob Wallace St Paul, October 5—A recent high-profile paper published in the journal Nature links zoonotic viruses, such as Ebola, HIV, and the SARS virus that causes COVID-19, with the fragmentation and destruction of forests. The authors show that with declining biodiversity, the remaining animals are more prolific disease [...]

A Factory Farm Fungus Among Us

Fungicide and pesticide production at Sapec Crop Protection, Portugal. By Alex Liebman and Rob Wallace St Paul, April 9—Eighty percent of U.S. antibiotics are used to promote livestock and poultry growth and protect the animals from the bacterial consequences of the manure-laden environments in which they are grown. That’s 34 million pounds of antibiotics a [...]

When Hurricanes Hit Industrial Agriculture

Photo by Rick Dove, Waterkeeper Alliance/Flickr   These disasters drag into the light exactly who is already being thrown away. --Naomi Klein, in a tweet about Hurricane Florence Minneapolis, September 26 – In 1831, a powerful hurricane devastated the island of Barbados. Eyewitness accounts reported a “deluge of rain opening huge chasms in the ground [...]

New Sulfoxaflor Insecticide Harms Bees

Minneapolis, September 15 – Several months ago, the European Union banned the three major neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticides, following years of accumulating and convincing evidence that they harm bees and other organisms. Global research with a European emphasis  and research focused on the U.S. meanwhile show that neonics rarely benefit crops in their most prevalent application [...]

Farming and the Opioid Epidemic

St Paul, May 31--According to a recent University of Minnesota Extension study, net farming income in Minnesota has flatlined five years in a row. Farmers here have felt the pinch across sectors: corn, soybean, dairy, and all the major livestock except hog. In its report on the study, the Star Tribune, the agribusinessman-owned newspaper in [...]