Ten Theses on Farming and Disease
Date Written: 2017-06-08
Publisher: Farming Pathogens
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20835
There’s a growing understanding of the functional relationships health, food justice, and the environment share. They’re not just ticks on a checklist of good things capitalism shits on.
Increases in farm size and debt, declines in crop and livestock diversity, and lengthening commodity chains across expanding food geographies depress rural resilience to disease outbreaks associated with agricultural production. By their immense monocultures, crop and meat producers alike are also industrializing pests and pathogens, ramping up outbreak frequency, scale, and deadliness. In short, industrial production offers less protection against a growing epidemiological danger of its own making.
In this system, controlling outbreaks means first and foremost protecting the economic model making agribusiness so much money. Actual farming practices, y'know, how food is grown across the landscape, are allowed to change only to the extent they contribute to new ways of expropriating the farmer. That means, even the problems of agribusiness production, disease included, become just another way to make money off farmers.