Should the US Use Organic Farming?
It is a widely known fact that many consumers prefer products of organic farming. Their choice may be explained by those advantages that organic farming has over conventional farming. Especially, when the market is overwhelmed by suspicious products and very often people even donít know what they really eat.
So, advantages of organic farming are as follows: First of all it is traditionally supposed to produce natural food without artificial chemical additives that make such food much more attractive for a person who cares about his/her health because it is well known that pesticides often used in chemical farming may be very dangerous not only for human health but also for environment where people live. Organic farming traditionally uses manure, different composts and other natural products.
Secondly it fertilizes soil and in such a way makes it more convenient for farming. It is especially important because on using chemicals or other conventional means of farming the condition of soil may be seriously deteriorated. Nowadays it is already a problem how to restore the productivity of lands that were exhausted by pesticides and risk to be completely destroyed if such methods of farming wonít be stopped. Also organic farming provides for diversity of plants while large farms where pesticides and other chemicals are used mainly have only one plant because it is more profitable for them as they donít need to waste money on using different artificial materials depending on a sort of plant. The nature of organic farming demands such diversity because it is needed for higher productivity of land.
One more positive aspect of organic farming is the fact that cattle and poultry on such farms are fed by natural food and the use of any chemicals such as antibiotics is highly restricted and their use is exceptional. Unlike conventional farming, organic farming treats them naturally. It means that they have natural conditions of life and they grow in normal conditions. It guarantees that the products of organic farms will be safe and healthy.
As for economical aspect, organic farming do not receive any financial help from the government unlike conventional farming which is subsidized and supported by means of various special terms of work. Though organic farming is still quite expansive, even if farmers do not buy synthetic pesticides and other chemicals for their farms.
Finally, though it seems a bit paradoxically but organic farming do not use some achievements of modern science. Among them we can name genetically modified organisms. Though they are permitted to be grown on some farms in the USA the effect they produce on nature and human life are vague and not clear. This lack of knowledge about their effect makes products which are genetically modified unpredictable and potentially dangerous. All these facts contribute to the fast development of organic farming and growth of its popularity as well as the growth of interests from the part of the Ďbigí agribusiness. It makes organic farming very prospective branch of American agriculture that sooner or later could compete with conventional farming.
Contras of organic farming
But despite growing popularity of organic farming this way of farming has its own critics and, certainly, some of their arguments had to be thoroughly analyzed. As I have already mentioned organic farming has enough advantages in comparison with chemical farming but some of this advantages are criticized and here I am going to concentrate my attention on this critic.
Firstly, it is necessary to underline that the growth of organic farming and the interest of agribusiness in it can have a negative effect on organic farming because it becomes more commercialized and the profit of the owner becomes the main aim of farming. As a result, nowadays some organic farms are allowed to use some inputs which, potentially, may have a negative impact on environment and human health (eg. sewage). That proves that further chase for profit may threaten to the positive image of organic farming and it also leads to the same problems that conventional farming has already got.
Among these problems I have already named the danger of pesticides used in chemical farming. But critics of organic farming estimate that some synthetic pesticides are made on the basis of natural pesticides. This improvement makes them less dangerous but not absolutely safe.
One more problem of organic farming is the protection of farms from pests. It is a well-known fact that conventional farms solve this problem using different chemicals that is not acceptable in organic farming. But in the case of wide spread of organic farming and its domination over conventional one the problem risks to become a real disaster if methods of natural anti-pests protection wonít be as effective as their artificial counterparts. It is very difficult to foresee the prospects of organic farming in such a situation, especially, if we take into our consideration the fact that conventional farming and use of artificial means of plants protection forced pests to evaluate and to enforce their vitality and resistance.
Another argument of critics against organic farming is the danger of food contamination by products of this way of farming. Some specialists consider that organic food can be quite dangerous and provoke some diseases which are caused by food. They also say that some materials used in organic farming are dangerous too (manure contains a human pathogen, some biological toxins, etc.). But as for me I think that there are some other factors that can cause food contamination: the conditions of storage, the transportation of products, etc.
Finally, the commercialization of organic farming led to the weakening of regulations that permitted to use such inputs or products that were unimaginable a short time before. For example, in April 2004 USDA adopted a directive that permitted to use some synthetic pesticides on organic farms. In general such decisions and trends contradict to traditional principles of organic farming which emphasize the presence of only natural ingredients in organic products.
Thus, organic farming has some doubtful aspects that were listed in this part of my work but before criticize we have to study and compare both organic and conventional farming and nowadays the information concerning two ways of agriculture is obviously not enough, particularly, in relation to organic farming that is not so wide spread as its critics.
In my work I told enough about positive and negative aspects of organic farming but I still strongly believe that it is much more prospective than wider spread conventional farming. Though I have some doubts about its future because I think that it could hardly survive in its pure form but what I know for sure is that we must do our best to develop this branch of agriculture if we want to save our planet and our own health as well. For I think that any human activity must be as close to nature as possible because any intervention of human beings into natural processes very often has a negative impact on our environment and, consequently, on people themselves. That is why traditional organic farming with its main principles based on use of natural materials in agriculture is the most appropriate way of farming which permit people live in accordance with laws and principles of nature.
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