Saturday, 16 June 2007

Pollution, Pesticides, and Defra decides.

The average western adult contains between 300 and 500 traces of man-made chemicals in their bodies. Before the second world war there were none.

During the war in this country there was a need to increase food production, and so the use of pesticides and fungicides began.

After the war 4000 farmers were disposessed of their land by government because they wouldn't farm in the intensive way that government wanted them to.
The government brought in legislation- 'The 1947 Agricultural Act' to make farmers adopt the use of chemicals and technology for high crop production.

There is no longer any necessity for this sort of intensive agriculture but government persists in their mantra that the more chemicals and technology are applied in agriculture, the more food will be produced and the lower the price will be for the consumer.

The following extract from the Ecologist Magazine, 'Fatal Harvest' 1/11/02 describes the background to this policy:-

..."This myth of cheap food is routinely used by agribusiness as a kind of economic blackmail against any who point out the devestating impacts of modern food production. Get rid of the industrial system, people are told, and they won't be able to afford food. Using this 'big lie' the industry has even succeeded in portraying supporters of organic food production as wealthy eletists who don't care about how much the poor will have to pay for food. Under closer analysis the US's supposedly cheap food supply becomes monumentally expensive.

The myth of cheapness completely ignores the staggering externalised costs of the food, costs that do not appear on supermarket checkout receipts. Conventional analysis of the cost of food ignore the exponentially increasing social and environmental costs customers are currently paying and will have to pay in the future. Americans spend tens of billions of dollars in taxes, medical care, toxic clean-ups, insurance premiums and other pass-along costs to subsidise industrial food producers. Given the ever increasing health, environmental and social destruction involved in industrial agriculture, the real price of this food production for future generations is incalculable".

1 comment:

Ryan said...


I think you ave a great blog. I'm currently helping a charity called Send a Cow partner with a few sustainable farming bloggers to help promote sustainable farming in the poorer parts of Africa. I think it would be great to talk to you about this, so could you let me know if you are interested in learning more?

My email is

Thanks! Keep working on the blog, it's a great read.