The Instigator
emily.baker012
Con (against)
The Contender
Stupidape
Pro (for)

Should Farmers only be allowed to grow organic crops?

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Debate Round Forfeited
emily.baker012 has forfeited round #4.
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Time Remaining
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/7/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 3 weeks ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 181 times Debate No: 96813
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

emily.baker012

Con

I would like to argue that farmers should not need to make all of their crops organic. My stance is that we have the tools and resources that help aid farmers farm more efficiently. By making farmers stick to organics it is detrimental to the farming community in the aspects of time and cost.

For clarification sake, I consider organic crops anything that doesn't use pesticides, herbicides or GMOs.
Stupidape

Pro

First, I want to thank my opponent for taking the time and energy to create this debate. I will be taking the Pro side of the argument. I will argue that antibiotic resistance is real and should not be ignored. Conventional farming of pigs has yielded more antibiotic resistance in E. coil compared to organic.


" In all four countries the percentage resistance to ampicillin, streptomycin, sulphonamides or trimethoprim was significantly lower in E. coli from organic pigs." [0]


It is easy to extrapolate that this also applies to farming. That plants and insect pests have been gaining in herbicide and pesticide resistance respectively.

Organic farming is more energy and fertilizer efficient. Also there is greater soil fertility and higher biodiversity in organic plots.

" We found crop yields to be 20% lower in the organic systems, although input of fertilizer and energy was reduced by 34 to 53% and pesticide input by 97%. Enhanced soil fertility and higher biodiversity found in organic plots may render these systems less dependent on external inputs." [1]


Finally, pesticides are an occupational risk for workers.

"Background: Occupational pesticide use is associated with lung cancer in some, but not all, epidemiologic studies. In the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), we previously reported positive associations between several pesticides and lung cancer incidence. " [2]

"Conclusions: These analyses provide additional evidence for an association between pendimethalin, dieldrin, and parathion use and lung cancer risk. We found an association between chlorimuron-ethyl, a herbicide introduced in 1986, and lung cancer that has not been previously reported. Continued follow-up is warranted. " [2]


This took me only about ten minutes to type this response, showing there is ample scientific evidence to support growing 100% organic. In summary, antibiotic, herbicide, and pesticide resistance is less of a problem with organic farming. Organic farming is more energy efficient, fertilizer efficient, leads to greater soil fertility and results in greater biodiversity. Finally pesticides are an occupational hazard.

Thanks for reading.


Sources
0. http://journals.plos.org...
1. http://science.sciencemag.org...
2. http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov...
Debate Round No. 1
emily.baker012

Con

I look forward to this debate. Good Luck to you!

You first mention that organic farming reduces the percentage of E. Coli found in pigs. However, only a small percentage of feed is going to pigs. Because of the rules of organic farming in place by the USDA, organic farmers have turned to fungicides. These fungicides have been toxic to wildlife.

" the fungicide chlorothalonil -- the most commonly used synthetic fungicide in the United States -- is toxic for aquatic animals such as tadpoles, oyster,s and fish, when chemical run-off from plants contaminates nearby water or groundwater. A group of fungicides that includes copper sulfate are toxic to bees, and wild birds and livestock have been poisoned by crop seeds treated with mercury-based fungicides. (http://homeguides.sfgate.com...)"

Next ,you mention that farming is more energy and fertilizer efficient. However, organic farming is actually causing there to be a bigger carbon footprint. In order to use natural methods to fertilize the soil, organic farmers will compost the land.

"When compost is used in farming, it is normally applied in large quantities. According to the University of California, Davis cost and return studies, a typical organic crop would receive between 2 and 10 tons of compost per acre. Thus a mid-range use of 5 tons/acre would represent a carbon footprint of 10,833 pounds (CO2 equivalents). This is without including the fuel footprint of hauling the compost to the field and spreading it.(http://appliedmythology.blogspot.com...)"

I would then like to continue to argue that organic farming is quite difficult for the farmers themselves. Organic food is typically priced higher than non-organic; however, it is actually costing farmers more thus causing them to drop out of the organic farming game.

"The Quenaults say the reason they switched came down to simple economics. "Cattle feed costs were excruciatingly expensive and we just couldn"t absorb them," says Julia. "We"re saving "1,800 a month. We couldn"t have continued, we would have had to put up prices significantly, and we didn"t feel we could burden consumers with an extra 12 percent on the price of milk. (https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org...)"

It is just not efficient, in the same article, organic farmers note that they feel like rather than taking strides and advancing in the farming industry they feel like they are taking steps backward. One even commented that he feels like it is like farming back in the days of his grandpa, where they would have to spend long unnecessary hours in the field.

My argument is coming from the fact that in Boulder County in Colorado, there is currently a law attempting to be passed that all farms within the limits of Boulder County must follow organic farming procedures and regulations. Many farmers are strongly opposing this knowing that the cost and upkeep of an organic farm are nearly impossible.

We have laid down our argument for the pros and cons for organic farming. You side with organic argument, and back to my original argument, do you think it should be mandatory that all farms be required to grow organic crops?
Stupidape

Pro

I will now rebut my opponent's r1 argument. Opponent's argument:


"I would like to argue that farmers should not need to make all of their crops organic. My stance is that we have the tools and resources that help aid farmers farm more efficiently. By making farmers stick to organics it is detrimental to the farming community in the aspects of time and cost.

For clarification sake, I consider organic crops anything that doesn't use pesticides, herbicides or GMOs." emily.baker012


My opponent makes a bold claim that organics is detrimental to the farming community in aspects of time and cost, yet provides no warrant for this claim. This is a bare assertion fallacy.

Thank you for continuing the debate.
Debate Round No. 2
emily.baker012

Con

I would not consider it an assertion fallacy, due to the fact that that was my opening argument. I simply stated it to get the ball rolling and for clarification sake of what exactly is being argued. I then allowed you to give your opposing argument, in which you state why organic farming is better, focusing in on antibiotic resistant, failing to mention any evidence to support the original argument. The argument became more of why organic farming is better, rather than the intended, "should organic farmers only be allowed to grow organic crops". In my response, I then refute your arguments, while trying to drive the conversation back on track. I mention how it is actually costing farmers more money and time. Thus if laws passed forcing farmers to farm according to the regulations of organic farming, it would be detrimental as farmers do not have enough money or time in the day to upkeep and fulfill such a high demand.
Stupidape

Pro

I will now respond to my opponent's r2 argument.



"I look forward to this debate. Good Luck to you!

You first mention that organic farming reduces the percentage of E. Coli found in pigs. However, only a small percentage of feed is going to pigs. Because of the rules of organic farming in place by the USDA, organic farmers have turned to fungicides. These fungicides have been toxic to wildlife.

" the fungicide chlorothalonil -- the most commonly used synthetic fungicide in the United States -- is toxic for aquatic animals such as tadpoles, oyster,s and fish, when chemical run-off from plants contaminates nearby water or groundwater. A group of fungicides that includes copper sulfate are toxic to bees, and wild birds and livestock have been poisoned by crop seeds treated with mercury-based fungicides. (http://homeguides.sfgate.com......)"

Next ,you mention that farming is more energy and fertilizer efficient. However, organic farming is actually causing there to be a bigger carbon footprint. In order to use natural methods to fertilize the soil, organic farmers will compost the land.

"When compost is used in farming, it is normally applied in large quantities. According to the University of California, Davis cost and return studies, a typical organic crop would receive between 2 and 10 tons of compost per acre. Thus a mid-range use of 5 tons/acre would represent a carbon footprint of 10,833 pounds (CO2 equivalents). This is without including the fuel footprint of hauling the compost to the field and spreading it.(http://appliedmythology.blogspot.com......)"

I would then like to continue to argue that organic farming is quite difficult for the farmers themselves. Organic food is typically priced higher than non-organic; however, it is actually costing farmers more thus causing them to drop out of the organic farming game.

"The Quenaults say the reason they switched came down to simple economics. "Cattle feed costs were excruciatingly expensive and we just couldn"t absorb them," says Julia. "We"re saving "1,800 a month. We couldn"t have continued, we would have had to put up prices significantly, and we didn"t feel we could burden consumers with an extra 12 percent on the price of milk. (https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org......)"

It is just not efficient, in the same article, organic farmers note that they feel like rather than taking strides and advancing in the farming industry they feel like they are taking steps backward. One even commented that he feels like it is like farming back in the days of his grandpa, where they would have to spend long unnecessary hours in the field.

My argument is coming from the fact that in Boulder County in Colorado, there is currently a law attempting to be passed that all farms within the limits of Boulder County must follow organic farming procedures and regulations. Many farmers are strongly opposing this knowing that the cost and upkeep of an organic farm are nearly impossible.

We have laid down our argument for the pros and cons for organic farming. You side with organic argument, and back to my original argument, do you think it should be mandatory that all farms be required to grow organic crops?" EmilyBaker



"organic farmers have turned to fungicides." EmilyBaker


This is another bare assertion fallacy. A claim without a warrant.

"the fungicide chlorothalonil -- the most commonly used synthetic fungicide in the United States" EmilyBaker

You then state that a synthetic fungicide is used in the United States. Yet, part of the purpose of organic farming is to eliminate sythhetic chemicals. I do not perceive the connection between fungicide chlorothalonil and organic farming.


As for compost, you use a blog for your source. I find this argument weak due to the source backing up the claim.


"I would then like to continue to argue that organic farming is quite difficult for the farmers themselves. Organic food is typically priced higher than non-organic; however, it is actually costing farmers more thus causing them to drop out of the organic farming game." Emilybaker

This is an excellent argument for forcing all farms to grow organic crops. That way organic farmers would not have to compete with conventional crops.

We have laid down our argument for the pros and cons for organic farming. You side with organic argument, and back to my original argument, do you think it should be mandatory that all farms be required to grow organic crops?" EmilyBaker


Yes, due to the advantages I mentioned in round one and the fact that organic farmers would no longer have to compete with convetional farmers. Organic farming is more energy efficient, fertilizer efficient, leads to greater soil fertility and results in greater biodiversity. Finally pesticides are an occupational hazard.

I thank my opponent for contuing the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Stupidape 1 month ago
Stupidape
Reduced pollution from organic.

" Total impact and ecotoxicity impacts per kg potato production were reduced approximately three orders of magnitude on the US organic case study farm as compared to the inventoried US average conventional production."

http://www.sciencedirect.com...
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