Opinion: Bayer glyphosate settlement is dead on arrival

A pre-trial hearing on the merits of Bayer's settlement conditions is being held later this week. Presiding district judge Vince Chhabria – who's handling the class action lawsuit – has all but slam-dunked Bayer back to the drawing board.

Opinion: Is Earth on a collision course with self-destruction?

And so the question must be asked. Is the planet headed down a path where the slashing of regulations on methane and greenhouse gas emissions, the dumbing down of coal plant regulations, the desire to significantly increase offshore drilling and fracking and the willingness to toss aside the Paris Accord result in long-term irreversible impacts on our climate?

Opinion: Goodbye chlorpyrifos and good riddance

This is the story of Dow Chemical and DuPont and its decades old pesticide chlorpyrifos...although it could just as easily be applied to any Big Ag product manufacturer.  What's chlorpyrifos you ask

Opinion: Will feds rise to the long-term challenges of COVID-19?

It’s really no wonder that the latest Pew Research Survey said that just 17 % of Americans currently trust government to do the right thing all or most of the time. In all fairness it just isn’t the current POTUS. Trust in the federal government has been declining for years in the wake of a boatload of poorly mishandled crisis – the invasion of Iraq, the response to Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon oil well explosion, the inability to sign up for the Affordable Care Act to name just a few.

Opinion: New proposed GIPSA rules fail to fully protect livestock producers

For far too long meat packers and large livestock dealers have put their thumb on the scale of justice when it comes to treating individual livestock producers fairly and justly.  

Just four meat-packers – Tyson Foods, Cargill, Brazilian-owned JBS and Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods — control the lion's share of all meat processing in the U.S...better known as Big Meat. Big Meat is empowered to treat producers shabbily through its use of Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rules that make it practically impossible for individual livestock producers to go to the courts when mistreated.  It's been that way for decades even as the livestock industry rapidly consolidates further consolidating its power over the farmer.  

The 2008 Farm Bill was supposed to be a springboard to end all this tom-foolery.  It demanded that GIPSA develop new rules to identify when Big Meat goes over the line, becoming self-serving in efforts to create an unfair business environment. The Obama Administration tried mightily to move GIPSA along but all the rules were blocked by Congressional Big-Ag toadies who successfully delayed until Barack Obama was out the door. The new POTUS and newly minted USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue didn't waste much time in putting an all out stop on the Obama-era GIPSA rule plan. On Inauguration Day the White House postponed institution of the rules by 60 days.  In October of 2017 USDA and Perdue withdrew the Obama-rules.  And then for good measure Perdue buried GIPSA by putting it under USDA's Agricultural Marking Service.

Opinion: Government’s dirty little relationship with Big Meat

For those of us who cover Big Agriculture on a daily basis it was no secret. It was just a matter of time before the novel coronavirus would infect thousands of workers at the nation’s meat processing plants. Plants with marquee names.  Smithfield. Cargill. JBS USA.