COVID-19’s impact on the economy has broadened to include one particularly susceptible area of agriculture: fur farming. Mink farms in various states have begun to report high mortality rates including: 2,000 dead livestock on one farm in Medford, Wisconsin; “several” mink in Lansing, Michigan; and nearly 10,000 deaths throughout the state of Utah. It appears that mink are susceptible to contracting COVID-19 through human contact, though there does not appear science to support the reverse (human infection from animal).
The USDA approved Enlist September 17, 2014. Dow AgroScience’s new genetically-modified corn and soybean crop is resistant to the Enlist pesticide that kills all other weeds and growth in fields. The president of Dow AgroSciences, Tim Hassinger, claims that Enlist will boost productivity for “safe and affordable food supply.” According to Hassinger, Dow Agrobusiness has “used the latest science and technology to address problem weeds. Enlist will be a very effective solution and we’re pleased to have this technology one step closer to the farmgate.”
However, some hurdles still exist post-approval. The founder of Center for Food Safety, Andrew Kimbrell, already plans to litigate in hopes of delaying the crops as they did with GMO sugar beets, canola, and alfalfa.
China has also begun to reject shipments of US corn based on concerns for GMO products and its lack of approval in China.
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement can be found here.