Tag Archives: pesticides

What’s wrong with GMOs?

IMG_5733What’s wrong with GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in food production? While many GMO critics say they pose health hazards, I find that argument unconvincing. Instead, I am concerned about:

  1. the tie between GMO crops and overuse of pesticides and fertilizer, each of which has serious environmental consequences;
  2. the contribution of seed companies and GMOs to the increasing industrialization of agriculture, which I believe harms the land, farmers and consumers;
  3. GMO genetic drift, which contributes to contamination of crops of neighboring farmers and, even more seriously, may contribute to the development of superweeds.

I support GMO labeling for the same reason that I support other labeling, such as country of origin labeling for meat and vegetables or rBGH labeling for dairy products. I think more information is a positive good, and that consumers should be allowed to make their own choices. For example, while I see no human health hazards in drinking milk produced by cows treated with rBGH, I see very high health hazards to the cows — and a detriment to dairy farming in general. For those reasons, I choose not to buy dairy products unless they are rBGH-free, and I support labeling because it gives me an option to choose. Continue reading


Filed under agriculture, environment, food and farming

Bees win some, lose some in Minneapolis

IMG_0287A resolution supporting bees buzzed through the Minneapolis City Council last week, with the city’s press release touting it as “significant action in the fight to protect the sharply declining local bee population.” Recognizing the problem and pledging to plant more pollinator forage are good steps, but the month’s news reveals the complexity of getting city government to move in a single direction. The city council’s bee-friendly resolution did not (and cannot) actually ban any specific pesticides, and doesn’t affect the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, or other government bodies, such as the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. Continue reading

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Filed under environment