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

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.





  1. Nathan Hobbs Avatar

    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. Mike Post Avatar
    Mike Post

    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. Linda Hunter Avatar

    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. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    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. Linda Hunter Avatar

    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. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    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!


  7. Matt Avatar

    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. JB Avatar

    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!


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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