We now have an admission of guilt from EPA that it wrongly issued 2018 dicamba registrations for Bayer's XtendiMax herbicide, BASF's Engenia herbicide and Corteva's FeXapan herbicide. New acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff said as much to EPA staffers in an internal e-mail on March 10 that read in part:
There’s going to be lots of questions from farmers and concerned environmental groups surrounding Bayer’s new dicamba formulation. Certainly Bayer doesn’t want to be put through the wringer if it can help it.
ByLeah Douglas, Food and Environment Reporting Network |
Smithfield’s ad, which was published the Washington Post Omaha World-Herald, and New York Times, begins with a quote from Teddy Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts … the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”
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.
You probably haven't thought much about honey bees. It's not a subject likely to come up at a dinner party (with the possible exception of how the heck do you get them to stop building a hive inside your mailbox).
But bees – better known as pollinators in agricultural circles – are critical to crop production. USDA estimates that bees pollinate roughly 90 odd U.S. crops including apples, peaches, plums, strawberries avocados, green beans, cotton, tomatoes grapes and a host of other nuts and flowering veggies.
It is no exaggeration to say that if bees were to go extinct Starbucks would be out of business. So it was a real slap in the face when the latest annual nationwide survey from the University of Maryland found bees dying at an alarming rate.
The UM survey showed U.S. beekeepers lost 40.7 percent of their bee colonies from April 2018 to April 2019. Even more concerning is that winter losses for the same period were 37.7 percent – the highest since the survey began 13 years ago. Yikes. So to state the obvious: the sky is blue, water is wet, and bees are responsible for much of the food we eat. On the face of it keeping bees healthy should be job one for multinational agricultural companies. But it hasn't worked that way.
Costco sells its rotisserie chicken at the back of its stores at a loss to lure customers into the story to buy other things. Up until now those chickens by and large have come from Big Ag poultry producers like Tyson, Pilgrims Pride, and Perdue. But Costco is now bringing chicken production in house.
Many of my blog posts notwithstanding I root for big-agriculture. I want them to succeed. At heart, I am a pragmatist that realizes big ag must be part of any solution to feed the world's growing population. But having said that there are specific things I believe big ag must do as part of its corporate identity.