Pollution, deforestation, and climate change are all known byproducts of intensive agriculture. Advances in agriculture often come with significant and lasting risks to the environment. The current system creates serious environmental impacts by poisoning water, polluting air, depleting soil, altering habitats, and destroying local communities. FIC supports workers and employees in both the private and public sector who wish to make disclosures about these effects.
A major source of environmental contamination is the waste stemming from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs, which house hundreds or thousands of animals in a tight space and consequently assault the rural environments in which they operate. Animal waste pollutes neighboring streams, poisoning wells and drinking water. Priceless natural resources end up sickening neighboring residents. Byproduct teems with harmful bacteria – E. coli, cryptosporidium and listeria – the same bacteria that often contaminate ground beef.
Genetically engineered (GE) crops pose their own threat to the environment. Common GE crops like corn and soy are developed to be herbicide-resistant, and yet testing the crops’ resistance requires heavy and frequent exposures to herbicides. After testing, GE seeds and herbicides are sold to the public, but the environmental concerns don’t end there. Over time, weeds grow tolerant of the herbicides and consequently more herbicides must be applied. Toxic, dangerous runoff is the inevitable result.
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