Food Corruption News Articles
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable news media sources. If any link fails to function, a paywall blocks full access, or the article is no longer available, try these digital tools.
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Pesticides used in our homes, gardens and lawns and sprayed on foods we eat are contributing to a dramatic decline in sperm count among men worldwide, according to a new analysis of studies over the last 50 years. “Over the course of 50 years, sperm concentration has fallen about 50% around the world,” said senior study author Melissa Perry. “While there are likely many more contributing causes, our study demonstrates a strong association between two common insecticides —organophosphates and N-methyl carbamates — and the decline of sperm concentration.” Organophosphates are the main components of nerve gas, herbicides, pesticides and insecticides and are also used to create plastics and solvents. They are widely used in agriculture on the crops we eat. We use them in structural applications within homes and buildings. N-methyl carbamates are structurally and operationally similar to organophosphates, killing insects by damaging their brains and nervous systems. The study, published ... in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, examined 25 studies around the world on the two chemicals. Those studies looked at 42 different levels of impact among 1,774 men in 21 different study populations. Men who were more highly exposed to the pesticides, such as those who work in agriculture, had significantly less sperm concentration than men who had the least exposure to organophosphates and N-methyl carbamates, the study found.
Some of the experts responsible for helping to craft the U.S. dietary guidelines also take money from big food and drug companies. A report ... by the nonprofit U.S. Right to Know makes those concerns plain. Nine of the 20 experts on the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee have had conflicts of interest in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical or weight loss industries in the last five years, the report found. Gary Ruskin, the executive director of the nonprofit, said the finding “erodes confidence in the dietary guidelines,” which provide recommendations on how people can eat a healthier diet. The guidelines are widely used by policymakers to set priorities in federal food programs, health care and education. Questions about industry influence could damage the public’s trust that the recommendations are based in science. When committee members receive funding from certain industry groups or organizations, it raises the concern that they may be biased, Dr. [Marion] Nestle said. “Part of the problem is the influence is unconscious,” she said. “People don’t recognize it,” she added, and will often deny it. Even if such relationships do not influence the experts, Mr. Ruskin said, they can create the appearance that they do — which can seed doubt about how independent the committee’s recommendations actually are. Industry influence can [also] creep in later in the process ... when the U.S.D.A. and the H.H.S. produce the final guidelines based on the committee’s advice.
Note: U.S. Right to Know is an excellent resource for investigating how the food industry shapes science, policy and public opinion. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
In 2016, the American honey industry faced a crisis: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had found high levels of glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer, in honey samples from Iowa. The National Honey Board (NHB), a honey industry-funded agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, did what many businesses under fire have done: They hired a crisis management public relations firm, in this case to downplay the risks of glyphosate in honey. The PR firm, Porter Novelli, later worked with the NHB to deflect concerns about honey containing neonicotinoids. The insect-killing chemicals are tied to the collapse of bee colonies. At the same time, Porter Novelli was working for Bayer, a leading manufacturer of glyphosate and neonicotinoids. The PR firm’s work for Bayer included promoting the use of neonicotinoids and opposing regulations that would safeguard honey bees. CropLife America, the pesticide industry lobby group, has also hired Porter Novelli’s subsidiary, Paradigm Communications, to “lead the effort to shift how pesticide products were portrayed in search engine results,” according to the Intercept. Search terms compiled by CropLife America staff included “neonicotinoid,” “pollinators,” and “neonics.” As other countries responded to the science by banning neonics, in the U.S., “industry dug in, seeking not only to discredit the research but to cast pesticide companies as a solution to the problem." Studies show the insecticides are toxic to the brain and nervous system [of humans].
Note: According to the CDC, about half the U.S. population is exposed to at least one neonic on a regular basis, with children ages 3-5 years old having the highest levels. Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide is a recent and comprehensive analysis of documents released in litigation against Monsanto that expose years of pesticide industry disinformation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption.
The 2023 Farm Bill is projected to spend $700 billion over the next five years, with powerful industry lobbyists directing funds to enrich themselves at the expense of agricultural communities, human health, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. It's far from its original intention: to help struggling farmers and hungry citizens during The Great Depression and Dustbowl. Most Americans have never heard of this massive omnibus bill, which Congress reauthorizes every five or so years. It shapes our food system–from subsidizing factory farms to funding food and nutrition programs, and it is why burgers are artificially cheap and salads cost more than they should. How did this happen? After World War II, to meet the needs of a booming U.S. population and a growing export market, the Farm Bill invested heavily in monocrops, including millions of acres of corn and soy, used to feed animals on industrialized farms. We subsidize the overproduction of fat-laden animal products and highly processed foods, making unhealthy food cheap and accessible. This contributes to heart disease and other chronic diet-related illnesses that cost our nation billions of dollars annually in preventable health care costs. Nine out of 10 U.S. adults do not consume nutritionists' recommended fruits and vegetables. The Farm Bill should invest in enterprises that act with integrity, not unethical profiteers who lobby for unconstitutional "ag-gag" laws that prevent free speech, transparency, and accountability.
The pesticide companies Bayer and Syngenta have been excoriated in a European parliament hearing after failing to disclose studies on the brain toxicity of their products. European regulators said the companies had breached legal obligations and behaved unethically. The withholding of nine brain toxicity studies from European regulators over the last 20 years was revealed by the Guardian in June, reporting findings from Swedish academics. They discovered that these toxicity studies had been submitted to the US pesticide regulator but not to the EU authorities. Dr Axel Mie, of Stockholm University, who led the research ... told a special hearing in the European parliament on Tuesday: "If a company decides by themselves which studies to disclose and which ones to withhold, it is obvious that the decisions by the [regulatory] authorities become unreliable." He said risk management decisions had been delayed by 18 years in one case. MEPs were scathing about the companies. The Swedish MEP Emma Wiesner, a member of the European parliament's committee on the environment, public health and food safety, said: "The behaviour found in this study is really unacceptable. More than a quarter of the studies [sent to US authorities] were not sent into the European agencies – that is outrageous." Martin H¤usling, a German MEP and member of the agriculture committee, said: "This is a right old scandal. These [are] clear breaches of existing law and previous law. And yet there are no consequences."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the corporate world and in the food system from reliable major media sources.
For almost five decades, [Dr. Vandana] Shiva has been deeply engaged in the fight for environmental justice in India. Regarded as one of the world's most formidable environmentalists, she has worked to save forests, shut down polluting mines, exposed the dangers of pesticides, spurred on the global campaign for organic farming, championed ecofeminism and gone up against powerful giant chemical corporations. Her battle to protect the world's seeds in their natural form – rather than genetically altered and commercially controlled versions – continues to be her life's work. "I couldn't understand why were we told that new technology brings progress, but everywhere I looked, local people were getting poorer and landscapes were being devastated as soon as this development or new technology came in," she says. "No one was stopping to ask: what will be the impact on the environment? What will this cost the farmers? They only wanted to win the race and control all the world's seeds." Currently more than 60% of the world's' commercial seeds are sold by just four companies, which have led the push to patent seeds, orchestrated a global monopoly of certain [genetically modified] crops such as cotton and soya and sued hundreds of small-scale farmers for saving seeds from commercial crops. Shiva considers her most important work to be her travels through India's villages, collecting and saving seeds ... setting up more than 100 seed banks, and helping farmers return to organic methods.
Note: The Seeds of Vandana Shiva is an excellent documentary that reveals the remarkable life story of Dr. Shiva, her significant influence in creating an international food justice movement, and how she stood up to the big players of industrial agriculture. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMOs and food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Your diet may have more impact on your cancer risk than you might think, a new study has found. An estimated 80,110 new cancer cases among adults 20 and older in the United States in 2015 were attributable simply to eating a poor diet, according to the study, published in the JNCI Cancer Spectrum. "This is equivalent to about 5.2% of all invasive cancer cases newly diagnosed among US adults in 2015," said Dr. Fang Zhang ... who was first author of the study. "This proportion is comparable to the proportion of cancer burden attributable to alcohol," she said. The researchers evaluated seven dietary factors: a low intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy products and a high intake of processed meats, red meats and sugary beverages, such as soda. "Low whole-grain consumption was associated with the largest cancer burden in the US, followed by low dairy intake, high processed-meat intake, low vegetable and fruit intake, high red-meat intake and high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages," Zhang said. You may protect yourself from cancer by avoiding ultraprocessed foods and instead choosing organic foods, research has shown. People who frequently eat organic foods lowered their overall risk of developing cancer, according to a study published last year in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Specifically, those who primarily ate organic foods were more likely to ward off non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer than those who rarely or never ate organic foods.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Newly released documents show an influential group that helps shape US food policy and steers consumers toward nutritional products has financial ties to the world's largest processed food companies and has been controlled by former industry employees who have worked for companies like Monsanto. The documents reveal the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a record of quid pro quos with a range of food giants, owns stock in ultra-processed food companies and has received millions in contributions from producers of pop, candy, and processed foods linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other health problems. The findings are a part of a recently published peer-reviewed study that examined a trove of financial documents and internal communications obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (Foia) request. "It's incredibly influential so if the Academy is corrupt then nutritional policy in the US is going to be corrupt," said Gary Ruskin ... a co-author of the study. The Academy accepted at least $15m from corporate and organizational contributors from 2011-2017, and over $4.5m in additional funding went to the Academy's foundation. Among the highest contributions came from companies such as Nestl©, PepsiCo, Hershey, Kellogg's, General Mills, Conagra, the National Dairy Council and the baby formula producer Abbott Nutrition. The Academy and its foundation also received food industry fundings via sponsorships, which are in effect quid pro quos.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought hunger to millions of people around the world. National lockdowns and social distancing measures are drying up work and incomes, and are likely to disrupt agricultural production and supply routes leaving millions to worry how they will get enough to eat. Already, 135 million people had been facing acute food shortages, but now with the pandemic, 130 million more could go hungry in 2020, said Arif Husain, chief economist at the World Food Program, a United Nations agency. Altogether, an estimated 265 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by years end. Weve never seen anything like this before, Mr. Husain said. It wasnt a pretty picture to begin with, but this makes it truly unprecedented and uncharted territory. This hunger crisis, experts say, is global and caused by a multitude of factors linked to the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing interruption of the economic order: the sudden loss in income for countless millions who were already living hand-to-mouth; the collapse in oil prices; widespread shortages of hard currency from tourism drying up; overseas workers not having earnings to send home; and ongoing problems like climate change, violence ... and humanitarian disasters. The curfews and restrictions on movement are already devastating the meager incomes of displaced people. The effects of the restrictions may cause more suffering than the disease itself, said Kurt Tjossem ... at the International Rescue Committee.
Eating ultraprocessed foods for more than 20% of your daily calorie intake every day could set you on the road to cognitive decline, a new study revealed. "Fifty-eight percent of the calories consumed by United States citizens ... come from ultraprocessed foods," [Dr. Claudia] Suemoto said. Studies have found they can raise our risk of obesity, heart and circulation problems, diabetes and cancer. In fact, men and women who ate the most ultraprocessed foods had a 28% faster rate of global cognitive decline and a 25% faster rate of executive function decline compared with people who ate the least amount of overly processed food, the study found. "The new results are quite compelling and emphasize the critical role for proper nutrition in preserving and promoting brain health and reducing risk for brain diseases as we get older," said Rudy Tanzi, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of the genetics and aging research unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Tanzi said the key problem with ultraprocessed foods is that they are usually very high in sugar, salt and fat, all of which promote systemic inflammation, perhaps the most major threat to healthy aging in the body and brain. "They also replace eating food that is high in plant fiber that is important for maintaining the health and balance of the trillions of bacteria in your gut microbiome," he added, "which is particularly important for brain health and reducing risk of age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer's disease."
Note: For more information on health and well-being, including major cover-ups that affect your health, visit our Health Information Center and explore key news articles from the major media related to health.
A US court this week banned three weedkillers widely used in American agriculture, finding that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke the law in allowing them to be on the market. The ruling is specific to three dicamba-based weedkillers manufactured by Bayer, BASF and Syngenta, which have been blamed for millions of acres of crop damage and harm to endangered species and natural areas across the midwest and south. Discovery documents turned up in the litigation showed the companies knew that their dicamba weedkillers would probably lead to off-target crop damage. This is the second time a federal court has banned these weedkillers since they were introduced for the 2017 growing season. In 2020, the ninth circuit court of appeals issued its own ban, but months later the Trump administration reapproved the weedkilling products. But a federal judge in Arizona ruled on Monday that the EPA made a crucial error in reapproving dicamba, finding the agency did not post it for public notice and comment as required by law. US district judge David Bury wrote ... that it was a “very serious” violation and that if EPA had done a full analysis, it probably would not have made the same decision. Bury wrote that the EPA did not allow many people who are deeply affected by the weedkiller – including specialty farmers, conservation groups and more – to comment. “The evidence has shown that dicamba cannot be used without causing massive and unprecedented harm to farms as well as endangering plants and pollinators,” said George Kimbrell [with] the Center for Food Safety, which litigated the case.
Nearly 40% of conventional baby food products analyzed in a new US study were found to contain toxic pesticides, while none of the organic products sampled in the survey contained the chemicals. The research, conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) non-profit, looked at 73 products and found at least one pesticide in 22 of them. Many products showed more than one pesticide, and the substances present a dangerous health threat. “Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks posed by pesticides in food,” said Sydney Evans, a senior science analyst at EWG. The study looked at products from Beech-Nut, Gerber and Parent’s Choice, though it did not specifically identify which of the companies’ products contained pesticide residue. Among pesticides it detected were acetamiprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide that harms bees and humans, and captan, which is linked to cancer. Fludioxonil, a product commonly used on fruits, vegetables and cereals, was found in five products and is thought to harm fetal development, cause changes in immune system cells and disrupt hormones. Apple-based products were the most likely to contain high levels of pesticide residue, and blueberries, pears and strawberries are also among produce that commonly hold high levels of the chemicals. The best way to avoid pesticides is to buy organic baby food products, which are subjected to much stricter regulations.
Federal regulators announced warnings against two major food and beverage industry groups and a dozen nutrition influencers on Wednesday, as part of a broad action to enforce stricter standards for how companies and social media creators disclose paid advertising. The Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters on Monday to American Beverage, a lobbying group whose members include Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, as well as the Canadian Sugar Institute and a dozen health influencers who collectively have over 6 million followers on TikTok and Instagram. The agency flagged nearly three dozen social media posts that it said failed to clearly disclose who was paying the influencers to promote artificial sweeteners or sugary foods. The action follows a months-long investigation by The Examination and The Washington Post that revealed how the food and beverage industry had enlisted popular dietitians to promote industry-friendly messages on social media posts that often failed to disclose the names of sponsors. Social media marketing ... has been described as the Wild West of advertising. Over $6 billion is expected to be spent on influencer marketing in the United States in 2023. The enforcement action is the first the FTC has taken against major food and beverage industry groups for social media marketing. The agency urged the trade groups and nutrition influencers to remove posts or add proper disclosures and noted that future failures could trigger fines of more than $50,000 for each violation.
Note: Read how cereal giant Kellogg used fake experts to sell its sugary cereals. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
At the highest point of Los Tres Miradores, a terrifyingly steep urban settlement with soaring views across Peru’s capital, Lima, there is a curious set of large structures that resemble a fleet of ships in the sky. They are so-called “fog catchers.” About 40 of these netted devices, made of high density Raschel polyethylene and spanning several meters wide, are lined up atop a misty mound and linked by a network of tubes that lead to storage containers. Home to a population of more than 10 million, Lima is one of the driest cities in the world. [The nonprofit] El Movimiento Peruanos sin Agua has helped install 600 fog catchers across Lima and a total of 2,000 across Peru, including in the regions of Arequipa, Iquitos and Cuzco. According to [founder Abel] Cruz, one man he supported is even able to raise 1,000 chickens thanks to fog catchers. In June, the project received a significant boost when it signed an agreement with the Mayor of Lima to install 10,000 more fog catchers in the hills surrounding the city in the next four years. The municipality ... said the project has the potential to “reforest, create ecological lungs, ecotourism and at the same time provide water for human consumption, for bio-orchards, botanical gardens, washing clothes, utensils and more.” In Los Tres Miradores, the 40 fog catchers — which were installed in 2021 — provide enough water for 180 families, whether to bathe, clean, drink (after being filtered at home) or to irrigate crops on small garden patches.
Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
The solution to stopping climate change might be buried on 10 acres in the Pauma Valley of California. “The idea is not just to produce food but to improve the soil,” says Alvarez, Solidarity Farm’s Climate Resilience Specialist. “We stopped using the plow to turn the soil, and we do a lot of composting and mulching to improve our soil health.” Solidarity Farm had used organic principles in the 10 years since its inception, but it pivoted to carbon farming after the extreme heat in the summer of 2017. Carbon farmers cultivate plants and trees in a way that maximizes carbon sequestration in the soil. Among the most important practices for carbon farmers are minimizing soil erosion by planting perennials and ground cover, which also lowers soil temperatures, and only working the land by hand or with low-tech solutions. “The soil has the capacity to store more carbon than all plants on the planet together,” Alvarez says. Solidarity Farms produces a diverse range of about 60 different fruits and vegetables, at least 70 percent of them perennial crops such as plums and pomegranates. Stacks of organic chicken manure in front of the vegetable beds wait to be distributed. The farmers enrich the soil with compost and mulch, while deterring pests with diverse crop rotation. According to soil tests, the Solidarity farmers have tripled the amount of carbon in the ground since 2018. “This equates to a drawdown of nearly 600 metric tons of CO2 per year, offsetting the emissions of 80 American households,” Alvarez says.
Note: Have you seen the groundbreaking and inspiring movie Kiss the Ground? In a time where we're told hopeless and divisive narratives about our current environmental challenges, people all over the world are reversing the damage from destroyed ecosystems, regenerating the world's soils, and creating abundant food supplies. Don't miss this powerful film on the growing regenerative agriculture movement and its power to revive global community and our connection to the natural world.
A new peer-reviewed study released by a group of scientists in Taiwan has revealed an astonishingly strong link between severe depression, cognitive decline and exposure to the world’s most used herbicide, glyphosate. The study was fully published on Aug. 22 in the highly respected Elsevier Journal, Environmental Research. It was met with silence by the manufacturers of glyphosate-based herbicides such as Bayer/Monsanto, who produce the infamous weedkiller Roundup. The study authors stated that they: “Conducted analyses on existing data collected from 1532 adults of the 2013–2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to explore the possible relationship between glyphosate exposure and cognitive function, depressive symptoms, disability, and neurological medical conditions.” The proportion of individuals with detectable levels of glyphosate was 80.4%. The scientists concluded: “Our study provides important evidence of an association between urinary glyphosate levels and adverse neurological outcomes in a representative cohort of U.S. adult population. “Specifically, we observed lower cognitive function scores, greater odds of severe depressive symptoms, and increased risk of serious hearing difficulty in individuals with higher glyphosate exposure.” Some other recent independent studies ... suggest that both glyphosate alone and glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup are neurotoxins.
Note: A 2019 study found that glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41%. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.
Hollie Fallick looks over Brading on the Isle of Wight, at a patchwork of fields bordered by ancient oaks. She farms with her best friend, Francesca Cooper. The friends ... are part of a growing global movement practising regenerative agriculture – or regen ag for short. “Regenerative agriculture is nature-friendly farming,” says Fallick. “It’s thinking about the health of soil, animals, humans and how they all link together.” On Nunwell home farm, which sits alongside land the pair manage for the Wildlife Trust and produces meat and eggs for their direct-to-consumer business, chickens peck away alongside belted Galloway cows, nomadic pigs graze on grass as well as kale and bean “cover crops” sown to boost nutrients in the soil. The idea is that by following the basic principles of regen ag – not disturbing the soil, keeping it covered, maintaining living roots, growing a diverse range of crops and the use of grazing animals – they can regenerate tired and depleted soil and produce nutritious food. The work, they argue, is urgent. Up to 40% of the world's land is now degraded by industrial and harmful farming methods, according to the UN. Barnes Edwards, co-director of the Garlic Farm ... argues that regen ag farmers recognise the “hideously negative impact” of badly managed livestock farming. But they also argue “it’s the how, not the cow”, and say that cows pooing and trampling in diversely planted fields boosts soil health, micronutrients and attracts insects, birds and butterflies.
Note: Don't miss Kiss the Ground, a powerful documentary on the growing regenerative agriculture movement and its power to build global community, reverse the many environmental crises we face, and revive our connection to the natural world. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
New York state on Friday became the first state in the nation to pass legislation restricting neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) that are toxic to bees and other pollinators and wildlife. The Birds and Bees Protection Act would eliminate 80 to 90% of the neonics used in New York each year by banning applications that are either easily replaceable or do not give an economic boost to farmers. "Every year for the past decade, New York beekeepers have lost more than 40% of their bee colonies–largely due to neonic pesticides," bill sponsor State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal said in a statement. "Today, in this landmark victory for our pollinators, economy, and farming industry, New York is working to reverse that trend." The bill ... bans the use of neonics to coat corn, soybean, and wheat seeds as well as for lawns and gardens. Neonics are a class of pesticides that work by attacking the nervous systems of insect pests. A lethal dose will cause paralysis and death, while non-lethal effects include memory, immune, navigation, and fertility problems. They are one of the deadliest pesticides out there, yet they are also the leading insecticide used in the U.S. This is a problem because about 95% of neonics used to coat seeds don't enter the plant at all, but instead spread into the environment via the soil, where they do not break down easily. They also harm the development of birds and mammals; and studies have linked ingredients of neoicotinoid insecticides with adverse human health outcomes as well.
Microplastics have infiltrated every part of the planet. One study estimated that there are around 24.4 trillion fragments of microplastics in the upper regions of the world's oceans. But they aren't just ubiquitous in water – they are spread widely in soils on land too and can even end up in the food we eat. Unwittingly, we may be consuming tiny fragments of plastic with almost every bite we take. In 2022, analysis by the Environmental Working Group, an environmental non-profit, found that sewage sludge has contaminated almost 20 million acres (80,937sq km) of US cropland with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), often called "forever chemicals", which are commonly found in plastic products and do not break down under normal environmental conditions. Sludge is commonly used as organic fertiliser in the US and Europe. Due to this practice ... between 31,000 and 42,000 tonnes of microplastics, or 86 trillion to 710 trillion microplastic particles, contaminate European farmland each year. Plastic particles can also contaminate food crops directly. A 2020 study found microplastics and nanoplastics in fruit and vegetables sold by supermarkets and in produce sold by local sellers. Crops absorb nanoplastic particles from surrounding water and soil through tiny cracks in their roots. Chemicals found in plastic have been linked to cancer, heart disease and poor fetal development. High levels of ingested microplastics may also cause cell damage which could lead to inflammation and allergic reactions.
Note: There seems to be no part of the planet that is unaffected by the pervasiveness of microplastics, from being found in human veins, human lungs, flying insects, and in 90% of table salt, to heavily polluting our skies and now spiraling around the globe through Earth’s atmosphere. Read more on simple ways that you can reduce microplastic pollution and consumption in your life, and support the many organizations making a meaningful difference to address this issue.
The situation for India’s more than 260 million agricultural workers is dire. Nearly 30 people in the farming sector die by suicide daily, according to the most recent figures available, typically due to overwhelming debt. Indeed in 2020, more than 10,000 people in the agricultural sector ended their own lives, according to government data. India’s economic backbone – its farmers and their families – is in collapse. They face crushing pressures: insurmountable debt, environmental degradation, and extreme rates of cancer linked to exposure to pesticides. This strain is compounded by climate change and extreme weather – from ground water depletion to water shortages and crop damage due to rising temperatures – effects which have been tied to increasing suicides in India. Many are subsistence farmers who are drowning in the volatility caused by the Green Revolution which began in the 1960s as a way of industrializing the agriculture sector with high yielding seeds, mechanized tools and pesticides. In some cases, farmers cannot work their land due to illness linked to the revolution’s pesticides and fertilizers. They are dealing with deep-rooted battles against multinational corporations. And all the while having to take out loans each year to make the agricultural cycle possible. And then, when farmers are unable to get loans from legitimate banks, illegal moneylenders ... step in, charging exorbitant interest rates and creating an inescapable debt-trap for farmers, in some instances pushing them to suicide.
Note: Watch a compelling talk by food sovereignty advocate Vandana Shiva, who explains how the "Green Revolution" doesn't bring any gain in food security, and has done more harm than good in India. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
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