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Big Ag in the news

(article, Culinate staff)

So, it's Friday the 13th, which means lots of grim news from the Big Ag front. 

First up: the recent announcement that the FDA will require farmers to get a vet's prescription before dosing animals with antibiotics. Sounds good, yes? But as commenters have noted, it's probably going to be one of those regulations that benefit Big Ag and hinder small producers.

Second: the news that Maryland will soon become the first state to ban arsenic in chicken feed. As usual, Europe and Canada have already banned the stuff, which isn't good for chickens or the people who eat them, not to mention the water tables under those chicken farms and the people who drink that water.

Third: Rebekah Denn's exploration of how pesticides affect not only bees but humans, via the high-fructose corn syrup consumed by both. The results of her research — interviewing both nutritionist Marion Nestle and food journalist Rowan Jacobsen — were unsettling: pesticides are in everything anyways, so there's no real way to know what role HFCS plays.

Finally: Nicholas Kristof's column about the latest egg-industry exposé. "Granted, it is not easy to settle on what constitutes cruelty to animals," Kristof wrote. "But cramming 11 hens for most of their lives into a cage the size of an oven seems to cross a line."