Dangers of Dicamba (VIDEO)

On the heels of California’s Proposition 37 and the national debate over genetically engineered (GE) food, pesticide companies are continuing to push to legalize new types of GE crops linked with powerful pesticides. Farmers like Indiana’s Troy Roush are objecting to such a shortsighted approach to agriculture. There are currently 13 new GE crops pending USDA approval, the most threatening of which may be Monsanto’s Dicamba Soybean. (Other crops include Dow’s 2,4-D Corn and 2,4-D Soybean, and the non-browning “Arctic Apple.”)

Why the need for new seeds? The first GE seeds were introduced in 1996 and adopted widely. Instead of having to rotate crops, farmers could spray the herbicide RoundUp to kill weeds while the GE plants survived. Gradually the weeds adapted and herbicide-resistant weeds now affect an estimated 12 million acres of farmland (about half the size of Indiana), and that number is growing rapidly. Read more

Food, Inc.’s Carole Morison is Free as a Bird (VIDEO)

Remember Carole Morison from the documentary Food, Inc.? Back then she was a contract grower, which means that she raised chickens on her land but the chickens and their feed were owned by Perdue Farms, the third largest chicken processor in the U.S. That’s right: She didn’t even own the chickens, except for the dead ones.

Carole opened our eyes to the way that nearly 8.7 billion chickens are raised in this country.  Tens of thousands of them are crammed into confinement and fed a steady stream of antibiotics to keep them alive.  They’re bred to grow extra fast, which makes it hard for their bones and organs to keep up.  The corpses build up quickly along with the manure inside the chicken houses, and growers like Carole are left to deal with both.

On average, contract growers invest about $220,000 for each poultry house, which pulls in about $8,900/year, if all goes according to plan. Read more