The Hidden Cost Of Agrochemicals

Health: In June of 2020, Bayer, the agrochemical company that owns Monsanto, agreed to pay $10 billion to settle tens of thousands of lawsuits to those who rightfully claimed that its herbicide, Roundup, was the cause of their cancer diagnosis. At the same time, the company shelled out $400 million to farmers whose crops and orchards were decimated by dicamba, an active chemical in Bayer’s XtendiMax herbicide, which drifted onto their fields. This came after a number of conservation groups filed an emergency motion in federal court to reverse the EPA approval of dicamba. 

  • If you thought this was the end of Bayer’s reign over farmers, think again. In the aftermath of these lawsuits, the company is forging ahead with a new variety of genetically-engineered (GE) corn, MON 87429. The GE maize is resistant to at least 5 herbicides at once – including dicamba, 2, 4-D, and glyphosate. The use of herbicide-resistant crops is tied to an increase in the application of toxic herbicides that are linked to thyroid disorders, liver toxicity, and fertility issues. If the USDA approves MON 87429, it will further perpetuate a food production system that locks growers into a chemical-dependent business model. 
  • Want to make your voice heard? Sign the petition to ban glyphosate, the most widely applied pesticide worldwide. A 2018 study found glyphosate residue in every sample of popular oat-based cereal marketed specifically to children. Exposure to the weed killer has been proven to accelerate soil degradation and increase the risk of cancer, infertility, and respiratory illness in humans. 

Watch: You may be surprised to learn that In the US, farmers have the highest suicide rate of any profession. Regeneration: The Beginning explores this crisis while exposing the human and environmental impacts of chemical farming. The documentary follows Stoney Creek Farm’s transition from conventional practices – e.g. tilling the soil and spraying crops with herbicides – to more regenerative methods, which focus on reducing chemical inputs and increasing biodiversity. The video series was produced by Farmer’s Footprint, a coalition of farmers, educators, doctors, scientists, and business leaders aiming to regenerate five million acres of farmland by 2025.