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Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

With Regenerative Agriculture Booming, the Question of Pesticide Use Looms Large

Regenerative practitioners say that healthy soil eventually leads to reducing synthetic chemicals. But some advocates say those chemicals have damaging effects and should be addressed.

The phrase is on everyone’s lips. Major food and apparel companiespresidential candidates, farmers, both conventional and organic, even chemical giants are touting “regenerative agriculture” as the be-all and end-all solution to reversing climate change.

Regenerative farming is having a moment because scientists believe it can help transfer massive quantities of carbon from the atmosphere to the soil. With pressure mounting to address the climate crisis, on presidential campaign trails and otherwise, regenerative agriculture may prove a significant and permanent upheaval to traditional farming methods.

The challenge, according to those who support the concept, is that “regenerative” itself lacks a clear definition. Although several certification schemes exist, they differ on how it should be implemented and evaluated. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees the organic standards, has so far stayed out of the fray.

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