Monsanto’s Evil Twin: Disturbing Facts About the Fertilizer Industry

What do you know about the worldwide chemical fertilizer industry? If you’re like most people, not much.
 
For instance, did you know that in 2010, Koch Industries was named “the world’s third-largest maker and marketer of nitrogen fertilizer,” according to the Wichita Eagle?  Koch, infamous for its support of extreme right-wing politicians and climate deniers, is part of a large system “of buying, leasing, upgrading and expanding fertilizer manufacturing, trading and distribution facilities worldwide.” Koch even has a separate fertilizer unit, called Koch Agronomics.
 
Did you know that two-thirds of the U.S. drinking water supply is contaminated at high levels with carcinogenic nitrates or nitrites, almost all from excessive use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer? Some public wells have nitrogen at such a high level that it’s dangerous and even deadly for children to drink the tap water.
 
And what about this? According to ETC Group, synthetic fertilizers are a major contributor to climate-destroying greenhouse gases, and the estimated cost of environmental damage from reactive nitrogen emissions is between $70 billion and $320 billion in the European Union alone?
 
Whatever you know or don’t know about the chemical fertilizer industry, we bet you could have guessed this: Even though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledges  the severe harm nitrogen fertilizer does to waterways, including to marine life and humans, the agency mostly turns its back. In place of enforcement, private farming operations are allowed to “self-monitor.”  
 
We all know how well that works.

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