National Academies Weigh In


New Recommendations in reports of the Academies of Medicine, Science, and Engineering will help in the fight to save our National health and natural resources??

Quotes from the reports:
U.S. farmers are under pressure to satisfy multiple demands, such as to produce more crops, pollute less, and save our natural resources. To evolve farming systems that meet all of these demands, national agricultural policy, research programs, and food markets need to shift away from emphasizing low costs and high production exclusively and develop a more holistic perspective of how farms provide benefits to society.

These systems might depart significantly from the present-day mainstream of agricultural production in the United States, and would require new thinking about farming practices and the natural environment, food markets, and communities in which they are embedded. Multidisciplinary research on aspects of these novel farm systems would be needed.

Progress on some aspects of sustainability requires moving beyond the field- or farm-level and has to be addressed at the landscape level. For example, managing nutrient runoff from agriculture involves addressing the collective actions of multiple farms in a watershed. New research suggests that the distribution of farm types and activities across whole landscapes could be better designed to achieve improved sustainability on local and regional scales.

I did not see anything new in the National Academy of Sciences statement of the issues nor its recommended approach to change that hasn’t been stated by the USDA Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education Program or other sustainable advocates for the last 30 years. The power of agribusiness over, local, State and Federal agencies and their political leadership responsible for safeguarding national health and natural resources and agribusiness control over mainstream University Research departments at the management level along with public ignorance and apathy has brought us perilously close to irreversible damage to our health and natural resources. Perhaps the weighing in of the broader scientific community will give impetus to needed change in direction.


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