Anti-pesticide group As You Sow, food industry spar over glyphosate sustainability

CBS correspondent Anna Werner reports on popular breakfast cereals that contain glyphosate. Image: CBS

San Francisco-based shareholder advocacy group As You Sow rated 14 major food companies on what—if anything—they’re doing to address the potential impact of pesticides in their supply chains.

It found that only three of the 14 companies studied—General Mills Inc., PepsiCo Inc., and Del Monte—claim to even be trying to reduce the use of man-made pesticides on crops they buy or food they produce.

“Many of these same companies are taking steps to address sustainability in other areas of their agricultural supply chain ….” Christy Spees, director of As You Sow’s Environmental Health Program, said of big U.S. food companies. “But they’re not looking at pesticides.”

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But farm and manufacturing groups counter that pesticide use is already highly regulated at both the federal and state levels.

Randy Stookey, general counsel for the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association, said modern production agriculture “makes farming more sustainable by giving farmers additional tools to grow crops using fewer natural resources.”

In public comments posted to EPA’s regulatory review of glyphosate, Stookey says glyphosate and other pesticides actually support sustainable agriculture practices such as no-till farming and water conservation. “Failure to use these technologies will place modern agriculture in an unsustainable position,” he said.

Read full, original article: Activist Shareholders Set Their Sights on Pesticide Use

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