We’ve all heard that agrichemicals are necessary to feed the growing world, but is that really so?
The argument for the extreme overuse of agrichemicals in global industrial farming is that supposedly without the advances made by Monsanto and other chemical giants, the world would starve.
We need products like glyphosate, terminator seeds and genetically modified foods to feed so many people, they say, but this is really nothing more than a popular myth, pushed on the public as part of a marketing effort to convince people who thousands of years of organic agricultural history is outdated and inadequate for the times we live in today.
The contemporary industrial model has many problems associated with it, including the poisoning of the environment, widespread disease and cancer associated with agrichemicals, the pollution of bodies of water with fertilizers, the depletion of quality topsoil, and the as of yet unknown long-term effects of tinkering with plant genetics.
According to a new report by the United Nations (UN), continuing to adhere to this model of agriculture is guaranteed to bring about catastrophic consequences, and that organic farming is in fact the best way to feed an ever-growing world.
“It is a myth. Using more pesticides is nothing to do with getting rid of hunger. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), we are able to feed 9 billion people today. Production is definitely increasing, but the problem is poverty, inequality and distribution.” ~ Hilal Elver, UN special rapporteur on the right to food
Pollution and food experts at the UN are highly critical of global corporations which manufacture pesticides while actively seeking to change the model of farming in favor of dependency on corporations for the success of crops.
Particularly telling in the UN’s condemnation of modern agribusiness, is the fact that Baskut Tuncak, the UN’s special rapporteur on toxics, and co-author of the report, issued a call for more sustainable, eco-friendly farming practices.
“While scientific research confirms the adverse effects of pesticides, proving a definitive link between exposure and human diseases or conditions or harm to the ecosystem presents a considerable challenge. This challenge has been exacerbated by a systematic denial, fueled by the pesticide and agro-industry, of the magnitude of the damage inflicted by these chemicals, and aggressive, unethical marketing tactics.” – Baskut Tuncak
There really is no way that the world’s fragile eco-systems can survive the never-ending inundation of harmful chemicals, and this is now becoming apparent to even some of the world’s governing bodies, offering hope that times may be changing.
Small-scale organic farming is a much more efficient and productive means of feeding local populations, while also resolving the need for food to be shipped around the world using fossil fuels.
Russia is revered by many for it’s broad implementation of the simple practices of local organic farming, and many pioneers of permaculture and modern organic farming techniques are already taking natural food production to the next level. And with technology at our side, indoor farming, rooftop farming and aquaponics are becoming much more efficient and accessible.
The truth is that we do not need the wholesale overuse of agrichemicals to feed the world, and to the contrary, the ecological damage being caused by these practices may be our actual demise, as bees and other pollinator insects are becoming extinct in our cover-polluted world.
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