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Panel Asks For Reform In U.S. Agricultural Practices

May 10, 2011 by  

Panel asks for reform in U.S. agricultural practicesThe Farm Bill has been widely criticized for its role in altering market incentives through subsidization of crops like wheat, corn and soy. Experts have said that this increases dependency on such products — including the highly processed foods that are made from such ingredients — and leads to mass production that may cause harm to both human health and the environment.

In light of the bill being scheduled for renewal next year, an expert panel led by Washington State University soil scientist John Reganold is calling for a reform in the country’s agricultural practices and a shift toward more sustainable farming methods.

“We need to move more quickly,” says Reganold. “Why are we supporting big, mainstream agriculture that’s not necessarily protecting or benefiting the environment? Why don’t we support innovative farming systems of all sizes that produce food sustainably?”

The expert said that many researchers are currently developing ways to apply the principles of nature to farming practices. This is done in an effort to gain more crop variety and abundance while lowering the cost of produce for Americans. Such farming would help local economies since farmers would be put back to work. Additionally, it would satisfy the needs of consumers who are becoming increasingly concerned with buying from sustainable food sources.

Reganold’s paper was published in the journal Science.

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  • DanB

    The optimist in me would they would get government out of agriculture. The pessimist in me believes government has too much interest meddling (controlling) the industry to leave it alone.

    • lkar

      I say let the bill expire. Figure out how many government employees it takes to regulate and enforce this onerous bill and add the savings to the deficit.

    • lkar

      Actually we could just eliminate the Department of Agriculture. That should be a little chunk of $$ for deficit reduction.

      • Bob from Calif.

        That sounds like a good plan.

    • EddieW

      They just “reformed” agricuilture last year!! We no longer allowed to share the produce of our gardens to others, they demand they eat monsanto foods, keep them sick, it’s more money for BBig Pharma..
      Diabetes Cure discovered by Doctor in Denver Colo. using your own stem cells!! FDA said NO!! If it cures, it is a drug and has to go through drug approval process…it would cost Big Pharma BILLIONS if it were cured…Now will NEVER happen!! They told the Doc, if he continued, they would pull his license to practise!!

  • kodster5

    Hear, Hear! I live in a farming community, and a lot of farmers hate being on these programs, but they feel forced to be on them, because they’re regulated to death, to the point of where they don’t want to farm anymore. Plus, there are some farmers who are playing the game so well, they’ve become millionaires off the subsidies, crop insurance, etc., that they won’t even harvest their crops… make more money letting them go to waste. Eliminate these “welfare” farming subsidies, etc, and you’ll have a lot more production, and the farmers will have the freedom to do what is right, and cost-effective for themselves, as well.

    • independant thinker

      While I am not proposing we continue farm subsidies if they are continued they should only be used to offset any difference between their costs of production and the costs of food that is subsidised by other countries.

  • Maryland FreeStater

    While they’re at it, ‘they’ need to abolish High Fructose Corn Syrup and its subsidies: this chemical is NOT a ‘sugar’, is toxic to mammals AND causes toxic chemical production within the human body when ingested as the body attempts to metabolize this.

    Corn, a food, should NOT be used as a fuel-source (ethanol). I think this is sinful. Plus, it’s better used for cheeze-puff base. Or Doritos Sweet Chili Chips.

    I work at the University of Maryland: 2 years ago, a researcher here discovered a mutant strain of E.coli (I believe) that consumes ANY vegetative matter (cellulose) and excretes ethanol. Why the hell wasn’t the lamestream media jumping all over this? The fact that the Corn-refiners’ Lobby has so co-opted fuel-ethanol from corn only in the US should be stricken – we already have enough traitors in political power and do NOT need more people destroying our economy, ‘corn by corn’…it is TREASON be cutting back on possible sources of energy (or as readers of the book “Mote in God’s Eye” would say, ‘Crazy Eddie’).

    • Richard Pawley

      Worse than all this is the fact the 86% of our corn (syrup and oil as well as corn meal and flour), and 93% of soybeans (oil and meal used in hundreds of products) and over 80% of cotton (cotton seed oil) as well as beet sugar and now alfalfa are genetically engineered. They never existed in nature but like Canola and high fructose corn syrup were created in a laboratory. No human tests were ever done on these because the FDA and the USDA says they are just food. However, a number of farmers are complaining that their hogs and cows are having spontaneous abortions after eating GMO feeds. Additionally Monsanto is making farmers sign agreements that in order to buy their seed that the farmers will forever be totally responsible for whatever results from the use of those seeds. There is not hard proof yet but genetically modified seeds first began appearing in our food supply almost 20 years ago and I’m under the impression that it was about that time that autism took a really big jump. This might just be a coincidence but I have read that the Amish who do not use chemicals on their farms (and certainly don’t use any GMO seeds) have almost no autism in their children. We are the only major nation in the western world from Australia and New Zealand to the countries in Europe that allow artificial bovine hormones in our milk, cheese and ice cream. Canada outlawed these artificial hormones that force cows to give more milk because of what they did to the cows, much less what they do to humans. The further away we get from the way God and nature created the plants we eat the worse off we are. When I was a youngster we grew much of our own food and this was before GMO foods existed. We were also fifth in the world in longevity. Today, even though we spend more than twice as much as anyone else on earth for health, we have slipped to almost 50th place. I personally drive 70 miles once a month to buy foods that are organic and non-GMO foods, difficult to find in many places. In Europe citizens are warned on the packages if there are Genetically Modified Organisms in their food but not here. In a few days American representatives of the companies that produce all this unnatural (some say Franken-food) will be in Canada trying to persuade the United Nations not to require that anyone be told if they are eating GMO foods. There are many good sources of such information on this subject, but I have found that Dr. Joseph Mercola’s free health and nutrition newsletter at is a very good one.

    • USAF VET

      Maryland FreeStater, you don’t have a clue what high fructose corn syrup is, judging from what you just said. All it is, is the concentrated syrup from the processing. There isn’t a thing wrong with it except what is in the minds of the naysayers who don’t know what they are talking about.


    Stop the subsidies, they are just going to huge farming concerns and costing all of us a fortune in additonal taxes and get rid of that damn ethanol subsidy it’s a waste of time and money…susidies mean coffer bucks for politicians.

  • http://com i41

    The Dept of Ag. budget is $149 billion for operations this year, not counting the $41 billion in the payment s to idle productive farm ground. So the land owners can raise wildlife for hunting, getting Free profits at tax payers expense. Then there is another program to plant trees on the same government rent land to the tunen of $1500 dollars and acres, and these 2 government programs are only 3 decades of worthleess waste of taxpayer money. This has been going on since the communist democrat FDR and his registered communist who was the first Sec of Ag. The number of the screw around Dept of Ag idoits is some where in the amount of 300,000 people. Maryland free stater, corn ethenal was the only crop approved by the beltway smucks, milo grain is way easier to grow and is drought resistant and yeilds more ethenol because of sugar content and there is more forage that can be used a cellose ethanol and has the feed effiency of 85% compared to rate of gain of corn. The bs of needing a governemnt net, in case of crop failure, is just crap. You need to be devisified in steady on crop of enterprise wonder. Some more s–t taught in our colleges and promoted by government smucks. How many farms and ranches have more than one enterprise, barely 1%. It used to be livestock, beef, dairy, hogs, sheep, and chickens as well as feed grain like wheat, barely, milo and corn was raised as was forage crops. Once government got involved food production was limited to what could be grown, and to who controlled who and where produce was sold and decided the sale.

  • 1minuteman

    they keep giving the animals we eat antibiotics and altering their dna and this is making it so antibiotics don’t work good anymore and if they keep it up one day there won’t be a cure for some disease as a result. the latest e-coli outbreak in europe is resistant to 8 anti biotics. great work big brother around the world. leave our food alone!

  • Carol

    Anything that is being done to the food I am eating is just wrong wrong and that is a fact plain and simple.

  • MadeleineT

    I agree with evething the previous posters have said, the Government has no business manufacturing food and Monsanto has no right to patent it and call it thier own, laced with their own manufactured pesticides and eboli viruses, human and insect genes, aspertame in everything and one ingredient in some bread is outlawed in every country except ours, are they trying to kill us ? you bet. here is a jaw dropping article that explains it all, we are in big trouble, this is something everyone seems to be a part of except us, we are the unwashed masses that have to eat this stuff and feed it to our children. According to Bill Gates they have taken care of all the staples, have you tasted the bread lately? 50 ingredients, yeast and geneticlally engineered flourt is in there somewhere, its like a soggy mess, wet soggy bread, doesnt’ even hold sndwich meat right, it has no taste and it never gets stale, I squeezed a loaf of bread in the supermarket and it stayed that way, like a glue ball, I buy foreign bakery bread, 4 or 5 ingredients, flour salt yeast water and in some cases butter, thats it. At least you can make bread pudding and french toast with it. when was the last time you had a strwberry that wasn’t white inside? or a tomatoe that had taste and didnt’ collapse after 3 days? I buy Amish chicken only, and naturally the Farm police are after them now for raw milk, they don’t even use electricity, everyone should be a steward of the land as they are , and the food is pure and delicious. The Government has no business in our food supply, everything they touch turns to you know what, that’s common knowledge and farming and food have gone down the tubes with the Governments FDA running the show, the President eats organic, maybe if he was forced to eat what we have to eat things would change overnight.Getting rid of GMO food is important if you want healthy children and citizens of this country. This is who is running the show, food and every other aspect of our lives, it is unbelievable how they get away with this. Whats the matter with our Government and whats the matter with us? The following link will explain it all,its sickening that these nobodies with money hav eot power to do this, they should be run out of town not given the rights to our food and the UN has the rights to our water, whats left?


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