National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson noted that agriculture has faced a concentration of economic power over the past 30 years and such a merger would be another step in that direction. The new entity created by this merger would dwarf other agribusinesses and eliminate a competitor in the marketplace, potentially resulting in an increase in price for seeds and other inputs. [press release]As South Dakota's GOP congressional delegation rail against federal oversight pollution, dead soils, habitat destruction and a regressive tax structure are wreaking havoc on cropland values in the chemical toilet. Republicans in farm states are stumbling all over themselves trying to protect donors like Monsanto and Syngenta from their accountability for impaired watersheds.
Soils are worn out from decades of pesticides, poor farming practices and manufactured fertilizers. Shallow wells and waterways suffer impairment from nitrate pollution making water less available especially where aquifer levels are dwindling.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has taken steps to reverse the effects of nitrogen pollution in the Prairie Pothole Region; but, South Dakota's Republican At-large US Representative Kristi Noem says to hell with that:
Small ditches that flow through our backyards, prairie potholes, and streams that only run during heavy rains could now be subject to Clean Water Act regulations, meaning everyday tasks like spraying your lawn for mosquitos or your crops for disease could potentially require new federal permits. [Noem staffer release]Monsanto's flagship product, Roundup® has recently been cited as containing a compound that is incompatible with life and is known to cause birth defects and spontaneous abortions. The company that owns a strain of Franken-maize, the only genetically modified product approved for cultivation in the European Union, is looking to acquire rival Syngenta.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently re-classified glyphosate as a carcinogen. The National Corn Grower’s Association is disappointed with that decision. NCGA Board member and South Dakota Corn Grower’s President Keith Alverson says IARC ignored the findings of more than four decades of credible scientific research and needs to reconsider studies that back the products safety. Alverson says glyphosate has been an important tool for producers who’ve been trying to do the right thing with their control of weeds, especially those corn and soybean growers who use no till or limited tillage in their operations. [WNAX]Virtually every ag producer in South Dakota uses glyphosate, now the compound inculcates every point in the water cycle including in falling rainwater.
Roundup, or the same glyphosate herbicide now available from a host of other brands other than Monsanto, is used on most acres farmed in South Dakota every year, Sharon Clay, a professor of weed science at South Dakota State University in Brookings, told the Capital Journal on Friday. In the past two years or so in South Dakota, farmers are seeing kochia and ragweed and other weeds that can't be killed by glyphosates, she said. [Pierre Capital Journal]In 2010, after another GOP governor gutted environmental protection in South Dakota, the Big Sioux River was named the thirteenth most polluted river in the US and nearly every waterway in the state suffers impairment.
South Dakota deserves a US Representative who would stand up to a chief executive who cares more about the state's residents than about his out of state campaign donors like his party's congressional comrades are.
Even the Supreme Leader of the Roman Catholic Church is calling on his American flock to turn out Republicans for their belligerence on human-caused climate disruptions.
Dr. Vandana Shiva is the author of Ecofeminism and Stolen Harvest. The internationally known advocate for sustainable agriculture and opponent of genetically engineered crops brought her message to South Dakota State University's Harding Lecture Series.
The university's chair sits on the board of Monsanto.
Monsanto says it still wants Syngenta; profit beats estimates http://t.co/MDwlFFsEeX— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) June 24, 2015
NFU Calls Rhetoric to Repeal COOL in Senate Hearing “Overkill;” Urges Senate to Find a Solution: http://t.co/Q4V8PKeZmC #keepCOOL— National Farmers Uni (@NFUDC) June 25, 2015