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The myths we tell ourselves about American farming

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on VOX or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: US livestock farms are the leading contributors to water pollution, with animals producing around 2.5 billion pounds of waste daily
• Surprisingly, most of these farms aren't regulated under the 1972 Clean Water Act
• The EPA has postponed stricter regulations, opting for a 12-18 month study

🔭 The context: This issue is a manifestation of "agricultural exceptionalism."
• Farms in the US frequently operate under lenient rules, leading to pollution, animal abuse, and labor exploitation
• This preferential treatment extends across various regulations, from labor laws to environmental protections

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: The continuous disregard for proper regulation poses severe environmental risks
• The unchecked pollution jeopardizes freshwater sources and amplifies the damage to ecosystems
• Beyond environmental concerns, the lax regulations impact labor rights and animal welfare

⏭️ What's next: The EPA's current stance is to delay action and further study the situation
This approach has historical precedence, as seen with issues like air pollution
• The influence of meat and dairy producers, coupled with a seamless movement between the agricultural industry and governmental roles, maintains the status quo

💬 One quote: "It’s the tactic of the [agricultural] industry to slow walk everything — renegotiate, restudy, reevaluate the obvious." (Silvia Secchi, natural resource economist at the University of Iowa)

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