ByJohnathan Hettinger, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
The Trump administration in recent days took steps toward continuing to allow the use of two popular pesticides linked to developmental issues in children. In both cases, the agency weakened its metrics for assessing human health protections. On Sept. 18, the EPA approved the continued use of atrazine, the second most commonly sprayed herbicide in the United States. Atrazine, whose main manufacturer is Syngenta, is banned in more than 35 countries, including the European Union, because of its links to human health, which include reproductive issues, an increased chance of birth defects, a loss of fertility in men and a potential to cause cancer.
ByCynthia Voelkl/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
For decades, farmers have been engaged in an epic battle of David vs. Goliath, farmer vs. meatpacker. Just a handful of companies—including Tyson, JBS, and Cargill—control over 80 percent of the meat market. These companies set the price farmers and ranchers receive for their animals, and often work together to ensure that they stay low.
ByJohnathan Hettinger/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Since the 2012 drought, the number of irrigation pivots in Champaign County has more than doubled. Brad Uken, the manager of the Champaign County Farm Bureau, said that one of the driving factors behind the recent growth in irrigation has been seed corn companies moving toward growers that have installed pivots to help reduce the risk of losing their crops in a drought.
Hundreds of food and farm groups are calling on recently confirmed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to step in and block a wave of billion-dollar mega mergers sweeping across America’s agriculture industry.
Five of the six biggest companies that produce and sell seeds and chemicals to the world’s farmers are pursuing deals that could leave a market dominated by just three giant, global companies. Harvest Public Media reports on the deals in this new story.
ByDave Dickey/The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
American agribusiness giants such as Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland would likely love to sell GMO corn and soybean seeds to European producers, but for decades European nations – led primarily by France and Germany – have stonewalled prospective efforts by persuading their citizens that GMO's are unsafe, unhealthy and generally un-European.