A Sustainable Agriculture Perspective on Food Safety
Released: November 8, 2010
What makes food safe? Or, for that matter, nutritious, or enjoyable? Such questions acknowledge the many inherent risks that compromise the availability, diversity, quality, wholesomeness, cleanliness, and affordability of food, making it less safe, secure, or sustainable.
We enter this conversation as partners in the rapidly growing constituency of local and regional food systems across the United States. We are farmers and food-related business of many shapes and sizes, committed to providing the safest food possible without increasing the potential for adverse unintended consequences. We see ‘food safety’ in the context of many other risks to our shared food systems.
As citizens and as stakeholders, our commitment to food safety is informed by our concerns about:
- The long-term loss of topsoil, species diversity, natural resources, opportunity for farms and rural communities, and choices for consumers
- The public health consequences of industrial chemical and pharmaceutical use on and off farms
- The long-term effects of implementing inadequately tested and controlled technology
- The concentration of wealth, power, and control of production in the hands of fewer and fewer players in the food system
- Private ownership and patenting of seeds and other production technologies
- A widening gap in the connection between many citizens and the sources of their food
- Instances in which farmers are disregarded or demonized, in particular by other farmers
- The measurable but unpredictable impacts of the industrial model applied to agriculture Continue reading