In response to recent E. coli outbreaks, corporate buyers are pushing California farmers to rid their fields of all wildlife and wild vegetation – despite the fact that this could make the food supply even less safe.

Link to Fields of overkill.
WESTERN ROUNDUP. By Li Miao Lovett. High Country News. You may to subscribe to read the entire article.
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We know the likely real source of E. Coli outbreaks, and it isn’t wildlife. It’s nearby CAFOs.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

8 Responses to Fields of Overkill. Conservation, farmers scorched by food safety concerns

  1. avatar Nathan Hobbs says:

    My God. Its a wildlife holocaust in that article, Bulldozing Lakes, cutting down 50 year old trees, I once thought that walmart only bullied our small business economy, horrible to read how they are wrecking rural lands as well.

  2. avatar Mike Post says:

    California Fish & Game is currently gathering feces samples from harvested ungulates in an attempt to establish a data base that can be used to compare strains of E-coli bacteria when these events take place and hopefully eliminate wildlife as the source.

    You can bet your boots that these corporate knuckleheads are part of the big ecological disconnect that we collectively have allowed to take place in urban america.

  3. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    Reading this article reminds me of reading scary science fiction books. You are right about “ecological disconnect”. In my recent travels I was astounded to realize that most people never actually touch grass or dirt with their feet. They go from their cars to their work and home to the TV. They might mow the lawn, or plant a garden, but only with the help of Home Depot or Walmart leading the way with time saving products to make it easier. I wonder how many people across America eradicate bees, ants, wasps, and spiders in their yards because they are scared of them. Poor earth!

  4. avatar Save bears says:

    Well in defence of those who don’t walk barefoot, I contracted hookworms when I was a kid, and it was not a nice thing to have….

    Now on this article, they are acting like assholes, trying to fix a problem that does not exist and could enhance the dangerous risks we face when purchasing pre-packaged food!

  5. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    Save bears . . hookworms!!! Sorry. Actually I didn’t even mean barefoot. I never saw anyone walk across the grass with shoes on!! I guess we better grow our own gardens huh?

  6. avatar Save bears says:

    Linda,

    I do agree with you, the vast majority of this country, never get to experience anything but pavement, which is really sad!

    That is why I like where I live, the closest pavement to me is over 7 miles away, I always have to walk on grass and dirt!

    LOL

  7. avatar Matt says:

    One of the largest sources of E. coli in fresh produce are farm workers who pick the veggies. Many are from countries with lower sanitation standards than our own, and don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom.

    And, yes, Ralph you are right: many of the outbreaks have also been associated with contamination from nearby CAFO’s. I have never heard of any major cases where wildlife was the source.

  8. avatar JB says:

    Just another example of our societies’ hyper-focus on eliminating all risk. The media and its constant fear-mongering are–in large part–to blame. I refuse to read the newspaper or watch the evening news anymore; I just can’t take the constant barrage of shootings, car accidents, rapes, wars, famines, etc., that dominate the news media. No wonder all the fundamentalists believe the world is coming to an end!

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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