Agriculture Workshop Comment Number: AGW-13735

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Comment Number: AGW-13735

From: COURTNEY OSTAFF
Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 1:33 PM
To: ATR-Agricultural Workshops
Subject: Comments Regarding Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement Issues in Our 21st Century Economy


I am a parent, teacher, cook, gardener, and foodie. I am concerned about the consolidation of corporate power in the food and agriculture sector.

State your primary reasons why.

  • I'm concerned enough about my family's safety that I've attempted to opt-out of the corporate food system as much as possible by purchasing a CSA share ($525/season) and buying beef in bulk from a local butcher ($914/year). But, I can't entirely shield my family from commerical food and most families can't afford to lay out that kind of cash; 
  • I'm concerned about the way workers are treated at large corporate agricultural factories and farms; specifically slaughterhouses and migrant workers;
  • I'm very concerned about monopolization of seed companies (Monsanto, particularly) and meat companies (Perdue, Tyson, etc.) and the resultant inequities of production;
  • I'm concerned about lack of sustainability, the lack of organic choices, the inability to find local food in local venues, and the lack of ethical behavior in commercial food production;
  • I'm particularly concerned about

I have a small child who prompted me to get interested in this area, particularly when I read the reports from well known and respected organizations, like Consumer Reports, who recommend feeding your infant organic foods because of the build-up of pesticides in their bodies--pesticides that are neurotoxins. 

I'm also concerned about BPA and its buildup in small bodies. I gave up eating tuna while I was pregnant because I was concerned about mercury building up in my system that could adversely affect my baby. Instead, I ate canned chicken meat--and after my daughter was born, I learned from the Environmental Working Group that all cans are lined with BPA material.  Unless you buy meat canned in glass, which is not commercially available, you simply can't count on that storage method to keep you safe.  Now, my daughter may be infertile, or have endocrine system problems because I ate BPA laced canned chicken.

Thank you for investigating this matter.

Courtney Ostaff

337 Dawson Road

Morgantown, WV 26501

Updated April 7, 2016

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