Old MacDonald Had a Farm . . .

But unfortunately, the farm wasn’t as bucolic as you might imagine, as the NY Times reports:

Agricultural runoff is the single largest source of water pollution in the nation’s rivers and streams, according to the E.P.A. An estimated 19.5 million Americans fall ill each year from waterborne parasites, viruses or bacteria, including those stemming from human and animal waste, according to a study published last year in the scientific journal Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

But farmers continue to get privileged legal treatment, partly based on their sheer ferocity as lobbyists and partly on the illusion that farmers are Jeffersonian yeomen rather than businesses like any other.  This seems all the more misguided now that agriculture has gone into competition with the oil industry in producing vehicle fuels.

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