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hiddeden costs the buyer of products is not paying.  RSS feed

 
rose macaskie
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  What are people talking of when they say that there are costs that the buyer of cheap farm produce is not paying.

     I know that one cost the buyer of farm produce is not paying is the cost of getting the pesticides and herbicides out of the drinking water so its safe for us to drink.
      The costs of cleaning the water of herbicides and pesticides are so big that a paper i found in internet called "the o'mama report" said  some water boards in some provinces of the north of Germany are willing to pay farmers to go organic.
      I suppose the cost for farmers going organic would be for lack of productivity in the first few years, their crops won't grow well without chemical fertilisers till they have bettered their soils. another problem with the first few years of an organic farmer is that  they cannot certify their goods organic and get the premium that organic food gets, sell them at a higher cost, till their soil is cleaned of herbicides and pesticides and i believe that means for some six years.
    The German water boards are willing to pay farmers not to go organic  in order not to have to pay what it costs to take herbicides and pesticides out of drinking water. If they can prevent farmers using herbicides and pesticides they wont have to clean theses out of the water. agri rose macaskie.
agri rose macaskie.
 
Leah Sattler
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I gather you mean some costs that are alleviated indirectly when people move to buying directly from growers? what a great question!

I think that some saving of the healthcare costs caused from eating unhealthy food that get distributed amongst the population could be a big incentive for change. however we would need some really good indisputable evidence to use that to justify changing the basic agricultural system. hard to come by that sort of evidence for many many complicated reasons.
 
rose macaskie
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  i believe that herbicides and pesticides can cause asthma, and other  respiratory problems and skin problems and when the use is very heavy, where they grow cotton in India, even cancer of the skin in babies in the populations in the cotton farming areas effected by the pesticides and herbicides in the air and water. I suppose the problems that are agriculture related are worse were cotton is grown, as it is not a food crop people use even more chemicals in its growth.
      I don't believe there is any doubt about the effect on rural populations of these substances that popllute the air in the country, i read a paper on it. I read that the pollution was worse in the coutry than in towns becasue of herbicides and pesticides.
      The treatment of these illnesses causes some cost that is paid by the tax payer in the countries were it is the government that pays for health care, i have always lived in places where health care is free.
      I suppose when it comes to ill health, the fact that these things cause ill health is more important than the cost of curing the population.
    CNN's doctor Sanjay Gupta says that there will be more deaths of cancer next year than of heart and aids. Why are cancer rates growing, may it not be because of herbicides and pesticides? agri rose macaskie
 
Jami McBride
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Yes.... the 'cost' is to high Rose, but people tend to want gratification now and don't care about the cost tomorrow.  It's hard to keep the consequences of our actions in the forefront of our minds.  Boy, wouldn't this change the world dramatically if we did?
 
rose macaskie
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  That people don't see th econsquence of their acts seems a big topic, i just thought it was a subject people weren't very clear on and that it helps to say what is meant by such a statement . It brings in a lot of trhe reasons for not using traditional methods pesticides and so on in a pretty convincign way i don't ask people to drop their habits before they are covinced that they can manage without them that why i think you should talk of the pros and cons.
th epros kill pests feritliz crops an dkill weeds what appears to be the easy and efficintisty way. cons the other cleaner ways work well. its not reaqlly neccessary to use poiisons.

    i think people are inclined to accuse one of not thinking of the conseqyence of ones actions because they are belittling each other, it is part of the hen pecking game . Who can see the consequences of their acts you try to be really carefull and the choices you have to make make you hurt one person or another.
    I have met puritan people who ask others to hold their veiws instead of their own veiws and never stop painting what they don't like in as negative a light as possible and i know decadent people who just as bad, they are inresponsible sexually or whatever, money ways but don't don't renounce their right to come down on others for imorality. They are very discrete about their own life and want you to come clean about a life that was an open book.
      If you toldl my brother a nasty secret, when i was small, he always wanted to hear it five times. As an adult i find people want you to confess what is well known and people who are as tight as tight can be about their own life want this . People see one consequence or any act and you another and maybe there are twenty different possible consequences.
      I only try to make sure people understand how things stand,  I only wanted to clear up on what was meant by saying that things had a higher cost than the one we pay for them . Lots of people pay cost others should be paying, an example is Christ, i suppose he was just paying the cost of stepping on establiment shoes.. It used to be the widom of some that the best sons of a country get it in the teeh and it is a bit of wisdow more often born out by events as you live  than others.
      It is silly the chemical companies have persuaded people they need things they don't need,maybe they persuaded themselves too .
  Al discussion of morals is usually a way of dom¡ninating others. It is a prelude to a an "I'm the king of the castle your the dirty rascal bit of behavior. Once established that you are the king of the castles you can order around the dirty rascals. If somone is only trying to get a moral high ground to stop other peoples worst games and worst games are normally really destructive consciously so an attempt to do for others, not a sort of slip whose consequences the prperpetrator had not forseen but long and drawn out attacks counsciouse an dcompletely deadly. psychological  murder with intent.  a slip that is not an attempt to get others to think like you and run erands for you is not to bad.  May be getting  amoral advantage over others is not such a nasty bit of behavior. It is hard to distinguish between the really crippling and the people who are only trying to defend themselves.
      There was ia novel of Muriel Sparls called "Bang Bang Your Dead" if i remember right, the protagonist remembers the child who had always shot her in games before she could shoot her, when they were children, i think that talking of morals is a way of looking for an opening for saying bang bang your dead to other members of the group. rose macaskie.     
 
jeremiah bailey
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How about a dummy tax on produce from Big Ag to help mitigate the cost of scrubbing drinking water and other hazardous waste matters resulting from petro-farming? If the tax were to be put on all said produce, and cover all said expenses, would we be able to afford Big Ag's produce?
 
                          
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^^^ not meaning to stray too far towards the political, but where gov't attempts to recover 'hidden' costs from US industries are concerned every action has a reaction.  Just as gov't attempts to recover 'hidden' costs from the US mining industry, US manufacturing industry etc. have resulted in a shift of mining and manufacturing activities to foreign countries ( that don't try to recover 'hidden' costs), the same shift is already beginning to happen with some aspects of the US Ag industry.  For example, US tomato and other vegetable growers have cut back production in favor of record imports of Mexican tomatoes and Asian vegetables.

Failure to recover 'hidden' environmental costs is a global problem ... but unfortunately there are too many countries outside of cited examples Germany and the US that could care less.  Thus Germany and the US face a dilemma of either 'locking down the borders' against the importation of low cost but environmentally unsound foreign produced food ( resulting in a major increase in domestic food prices ) or creating a two-tier food supply ( with very high priced but environmentally sound domestic food plus low priced but environmentally unsound imported food). 
 
                    
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creating a two-tier food supply ( with very high priced but environmentally sound domestic food plus low priced but environmentally unsound imported food).


Isn't that essentially what we have right now?  Not all of the unsound food is imported, but there is a large discrepancy between chemically and organically grown foods.  I like what Jeremiah proposed:  a tax on chemically grown food to bring the retail costs closer to equal.  The the consumer would not have the easy excuse of chemically grown food being cheaper. 

 
jeremiah bailey
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Melonie is exactly right. I forgot for a moment that we live in a global market whether we like or not. Imposing such a tax would only compound the problem while sending it offshore. Basically it would be sweeping it under the rug for someone else to deal with.

The two-tier deal is basically what we have now. Albeit the higher priced organic solution isn't always better. Much of what is called organic is done with the same damaging techniques minus only the chemicals. Really it is just with different chemicals that are considered safe.

What would be needed is consumer education, but that will take a long time to produce results.
 
                              
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The biggest problem with trying to tax the chemically grown stuff is that the Big Ag is more likely to have the strong lobby to sway government and therefore they would probably manage to twist things and make it even more expensive for the competition to produce the organic stuff cause they would probably require all organic produce to be chipped for tracking or something else as silly.

 
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