Home Page Index Go to Bottom

In its study of industrial agriculture, The Ecologist has set out a summary of new initiatives needed:

  • A reconsideration of land ownership, and the rights that ownership confers;
  • An end to the environmental destruction caused by the adoption of inappropriate, intensive agricultural methods;
  • The reduction or abolition of the use of agro-chemicals in agriculture, and their replacement with more natural biological processes for building fertility, and coping with weed, pest and disease problems;
  • Legislation to protect animals from abuse; and the promotion of farming systems which take account of animals physiological and behavioural needs;
  • Stricter pollution and food safety standards to ensure against contamination of food, water and the general environment by industrial and agricultural chemicals and by genetically-engineered organisms.
  • Public access to all information relevant to the safety and environmental impact of farm chemicals, food additives and food processing aids;
  • More open and representative structures for decision making, to ensure that environmental, customer, small farm, public health, and alternative agriculture groups have a say in policy development;
  • Legislation which enshrines the right of national and regional governments to set their own standards for food quality; allowing them to impose import bans on foods that do not meet those standards, and to protect domestic agriculture against imports of cheap food from abroad;
  • Government encouragement for trading patterns that strengthen local markets and foster direct marketing links between farmers and consumers;
  • An end to export dumping and other national and international policies which make it difficult for countries in the South to develop their own policies for self-reliance and sustainable agriculture;
  • A more cautious approach towards genetic engineering and other programmes which could result in farmers becoming more dependent on chemicals and multinational companies;
  • The switching of research funds away from the industrialised, technical-fix approach, towards more genuinely sustainable options, which are less energy intensive, more environmentally friendly, and which encourage diversity and the production of good quality food.
Home Page Index Go to Top