Scientific facts vs. Internet rumors |

Scientific facts vs. Internet rumors

It puzzles me why non-agrarian/city people think they can tell farmers and ranchers we have to be more “transparent” and “open” about the way we do our work.

The fact is no matter what we tell them, they can’t understand anyway. They don’t know the meaning of words we use, have likely never set foot on a farm or a ranch. Indeed, the nearest many of them have been is when they fly above the countryside on a voyage from city to city. Just as country people would not go into a business in the city and tell them how to do their jobs, what makes them think they can dictate what we do?

Is there any other career where non-professionals — actually people with no background knowledge — seek to tell professionals how to do their jobs? Would a city lawyer with no prior experience, go into vehicle repair shop and demand to tell the mechanic which tool to use or how to diagnose a problem? All that would do is muck up the process.

That is what the anti-agriculture individuals and groups do. They complain about cow emissions and proclaim they are a hazard to the health of the planet. I have never heard that said about a dog or a horse. Could it be that these same people worship dogs and horses, but have somehow swallowed the line of the antis who proclaimed cows are the culprits? This negative propaganda proves one thing — if a lie is repeated often enough it is accepted as truth.

“They complain about cow emissions and proclaim they are a hazard to the health of the planet. I have never heard that said about a dog or a horse.”

According to Frank M. Mitloehner, professor of animal science and air quality Extension specialist, University of California, Davis, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the largest sources of U.S. GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in 2016 were electricity production (28 percent of total emissions), transportation (28 percent) and industry (22 percent). All of agriculture accounted for a total of 9 percent. All of animal agriculture contributes less than half of this amount, representing 3.9 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. That’s very different from claiming livestock represents as much or more than transportation.”

And what about crops? Do you realize GMOs were created to placate the people who demanded a decrease in herbicide and insecticide use? It has been highly successful yet the same folks are howling louder than ever. The crops are tainted! Buyers are being poisoned! Yet the best one is the true one: consumers are being ripped off. Nearly everything these days — including some bottled water — is labeled “non-GMO.” I kid you not. The simple reason is people do not educate themselves, but rely on some internet guru who is anti-agriculture to fill their minds with nonscientific “truths.”

Norman Borglaug was right. Scientific progress to improve crops, make them more efficient, and to lessen dependence upon chemicals, is necessary. Food safety and abundance are the overriding principles behind GMOs and other changes needed to feed the world. ❖

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Peggy Sanders

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