Soil (
by Dan Burns
Oct 27, 2021, 5:00 PM

Pesticides are killing the soil, and Big Ag has no problem with that

Recent studies indicate that beneficial organisms in soil are being annihilated.

“What this study really drives home is that pesticide use is incompatible with healthy ecosystems, across organisms, pesticide classes, and a whole set of different health outcomes, including death,” said Kendra Klein, senior scientist at Friends of the Earth and co-author of the study. “We have to be talking about pesticide reduction in conversations about regenerative agriculture.”

…Neonicotinoid insecticide use has also risen in recent decades as a seed treatment for field crops, even though pesticides in this class are implicated in colony collapse disorder in bees and potential endocrine disruption in humans. The U.S. lags behind the world’s largest agricultural producers, including Europe, China, and Brazil, in banning harmful pesticides, according to a 2016 study that found that more than a quarter of all agricultural pesticides used in the U.S. are banned in Europe.
(Civil Eats)

I got my head current about this from a Scientific American article in the August print issue (the online copy is dated June 1). It may be paywalled, but in any case I’m quoting this:

Every major company now has Web materials touting its role in promoting soil health, often advocating for reduced tilling and planting cover crops.

As general tenets, both these practices are indeed good for soil health and, if adopted responsibly, are great steps to take. But companies know that these practices are often accompanied by increased pesticide use.

It’s universally known that Big Ag ranks with Big Pharma and Big Fossil Fuels among the most awful of all contemporary corporate entities. But I’m not suggesting that the head honchos at Big Ag spend their time cackling over their evil schemes. Rather, their motivated reasoning is always in high gear, keeping themselves convinced that what they do is all for the best. The “magic of the markets,” and all that bogus shit. In any case, it’s past time to run their whimpering, groveling political curs out of elected office, for good.

Thanks for your feedback. If we like what you have to say, it may appear in a future post of reader reactions.