Actions and consequences

I’ve written several stories about how the proposed Food and Drug Administration ban on artificial trans fat in the U.S. food supply could affect Upper Midwest agriculture. One of the stories, an interview with Jim Orf, the University of Minnesota soybean breeder whose work will help bean growers in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, will run in the upcoming Nov. 25 issue of Agweek. 

Here’s a link to another story, which ran in our Nov. 18 issue, that gives an overview of the issue: www.agweek.com/event/article/id/22083/

To me, an ag journalist in the Upper Midwest, the interesting thing is how a a ban would affect soybeans, canola and sunflowers. But the Union of Concerned Scientists has another perspective: it worries about the impact on rain forests. A ban would increase demand for palm oil, which would lead to big chunks of rain forests in Indonesia and Malaysia being cleared to make room for new palm oil plantations, according to the organization.

Decide for yourself what to make of the organization’s concern. But surely all of us can agree on one thing: actions, even well-intended ones, often have consequences that won’t please everyone.

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