Monoculture has been devastating

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Regarding the article on dragón amarillo or the blight that causes orange greening. The article cites a release from the U. of Florida that states that they may have discovered a “treatment” in the form of a three-chemical cocktail that has shown favorable results against the pest that has wreaked havoc on the staple juice orange.

It states that the problem has shown up even here in Costa Rica, and that the government has spent a million dollars already in attempting to combat it.

A million dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to what the Florida citrus industry has already spent. The U. of Florida is just one of many avenues the industry is funding in desperate attempts to solve this scourge.

Needless to say, everyone wants this problem to go away. Oranges are one of natures gems that imparts good health while tasting wonderful.

What the commercial farming “industry” has been experimenting with over the last 60-70 years or so in their practices of massive mono-cropping with simultaneous massive chemical fertilization, as well as herbicide and pesticide usage, has been shown to have short term benefits at best.

While It has allowed farming to continue to expand away from small scale traditionally family run operations into mega-businesses providing huge returns to the corporations who own them, the negative results in their practices have been devastating. Devastating to independent small scale farming communities, devastating to democratic processes, devastating to the environment, and to health.

While workers and populations close by these operations have suffered the worst of the health effects of the toxic chemicals these massive mono-growing tracts use, the downstream effects have had a slower effect.

While the article optimistically states that this three-chemical treatment promised to be the answer in killing the bacteria that has been destroying orange trees, as if it was the “magic bullet.” We know that these chemicals are made to kill, so they will have side effects that will be added to the toxic soup the earth is already overflowing in. The corporations profit the very few, while the average citizen foots the bill.
Hari Khalsa

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