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[SANET-MG] Unnatural ags

To say "no agriculture is natural" because it always involves human
intervention is dualistic thinking that assumes that humans are not
argument is typical of the kind of rhetoric that wishes to convince us to
accept any practices in food production without consideration of their
effects on our health and our environment. If nothing is 'natural' then
anything is permissible.

In fact, agriculture is an entirely 'natural' activity. It is our
fundamental link to the natural processes that sustain our lives.  In
particular, the biological processes of the soil that provide the fertility
of our crops and forage are the links that connect us, through our food, to
the nutrient and energy cycles of our ecology.  There are agricultural
practices that are not natural, in the sense of being anti-natural.  These
are practices that seek to maximize yields at the cost of the complex
ecological relationships that make our agriculture sustainable.

Practices such as applying concentrated nutrient salts to the soil to force
production with no consideration of the balance of nutrient elements needed
for plant and animal health or the effects of these chemicals on the soil,
are not natural.  Spreading highly toxic biocides to kill 'pests' (often
brought on by unbalanced fertilization) with no consideration for its
effects on non-pest organisms or on soil ecology, is
antinatural.  Irretrievably releasing organisms whose genomes have been
mutilated in ways that could never arise in even the most human-influenced
agroecosystems, without regard to their potential effects, is not only
unnatural but criminally irresponsible.,

If agriculture is to continue to nurture the bonds of solidarity between
social groups, eg., farmers and consumers and between these groups and our
environment, then we must continue to defend a natural agriculture against
those who would justify unnatural acts for their own profit.  Most farmers
and probably most people on this list know exactly what we mean by natural

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