EPA on Farming
February 3, 2016
EPA: Domestic Farming is Critical
Importing All Food from Other Countries is Risky, Part 1
By Laurie Greene, Editor
Editor’s note: California Ag Today was granted an exclusive interview with Ron Carleton, counselor to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy for agricultural policy. While we know that air and water quality are top priorities for the EPA, we asked Carleton to describe the outlook of the EPA on farming.
“The importance of our agricultural sector to our country, to our consumers, to our economy, to our job creation, to our rural communities: Absolutely, we have to preserve that,” said Carleton.
“We used to have discussions in the ’70’s, and the 80’s and the 90’s about energy independence,” he said, “because of the problems caused by importing so much of our energy from abroad, particularly in instances from countries that weren’t necessarily friendly to us.”
Carleton noted the same can be said with food imports. “Imagine we have that same situation for most of our food. I think that poses a serious risk to food safely. I think that poses a serious risk to affordability. I think that poses a serious risk to quality and quantify, and we can’t do that,” Carleton said. “It is incredibly important that we preserve our agricultural productive capability in this country.”
“I believe our country can preserve our agricultural base, and I think we can do that in a way that is also environmentally friendly,” noted Carleton. “So, interesting times; interesting challenges. But I firmly believe the men and women who farm in our country are up to the challenge.”