Time Magazine Attacks Modern Farming

Without even a hint of objectivity, Time magazine is using the cover story of its Aug. 31 print edition to attack modern agriculture. The story is a wide-ranging frontal assault on all aspects of modern food production, and the story is written in a manner that the very few words included to give agriculture a token voice are quickly trampled by an onslaught of anti-modern-agriculture rhetoric. The American Farm Bureau Federation will be responding.

Update: AFBF has responded to the article. Read President Stallman’s letter to the editor.

The first paragraph pretty much sets the tone.

“Somewhere in Iowa, a pig is being raised in a confined pen, packed in so tightly with other swine that their curly tails have been chopped off so they won’t bite one another. To prevent him from getting sick in such close quarters, he is dosed with antibiotics. The waste produced by the pig and his thousands of pen mates on the factory farm where they live goes into manure lagoons that blanket neighboring communities with air pollution and a stomach-churning stench. He’s fed on American corn that was grown with the help of government subsidies and millions of tons of chemical fertilizer. When the pig is slaughtered, at about 5 months of age, he’ll become sausage or bacon that will sell cheap, feeding an American addiction to meat that has contributed to an obesity epidemic currently afflicting more than two-thirds of the population. And when the rains come, the excess fertilizer that coaxed so much corn from the ground will be washed into the Mississippi River and down into the Gulf of Mexico, where it will help kill fish for miles and miles around. That’s the state of your bacon—circa 2009.”

The article quotes numerous entities critical of modern farming, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, several disenfranchised farmers dismayed about how agriculture has changed, organic advocates and others who sell their farm and food products based on criticizing the products and processes of mainstream farming and ranching.

Letters regarding this opinion article, which Time unfortunately cloaked as a news magazine cover story, may be sent using this link: http://bit.ly/19LOXL. You will need to input the headline of the article—America’s Food Crisis and How to Fix It—when you submit your online letter.

3 responses to this post.

  1. […] 2009 Annual Meeting « Time Magazine Attacks Modern Farming […]


  2. Posted by Dianne Goldman on August 25, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    I am disappointed that Time has chosen to paint US agriculture with such a broad and dirty brush. I grew up on a sheep ranch. Our sheep lived their summers on a beautiful mountain range with plenty of natural nutrients and wide expanses to wander. They came home in the fall to eat freshly grown alfalfa and later alfalfa hay, usually in large fields. They were “corralled” only during harsh winter weather and at lambing time–for the protection of the sheep.

    Today I own a 320-acre farm on which wheat, barley and potatoes are grown. Yes, fertilizers are used, but they are expensive. We much prefer natural additives and crop rotation to enrich and maintain good soil.

    Perhaps your staff needs to do more investigation. The conditions your article describes are not ones I am familiar with.


  3. […] Industry. Leave a Comment Bryan Walsh, who wrote a damning article on modern agriculture in Time magazine, admitted in an AgriTalk interview with Mike Adams Monday morning that the story took the angle he […]


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