A Feast for Trial Lawyers, a Famine for Farmers

About those amber waves of grain, above the fruited plain: If trial lawyers get their way, there will be bread and circuses aplenty but little or no actual bread, because trial lawyers stand to make plenty of bread without baking a single loaf; because trial lawyers stand to collect a lot of dough without kneading (or needing) it; because, puns notwithstanding, lawyers seek to punish farmers by banning a popular, useful pesticide from America’s farms.

By speaking like scientists and acting as advocates, by agitating to confirm bias rather than banish prejudice, trial lawyers want to outlaw the use of glyphosate: a chemical compound that protects farmers’ yields.

You do not have to be a farmer to know what a farm without farmers looks like. A farm foreclosed, not because of bad loans, but because of bad laws; a family farm with desiccated crops and devastated communities; a family unable to farm, its plows left to rust, its pruning hooks left to ruin, its people left to rot; a farm without a family to gather grain, seed plants, sow branches, harvest fields, and love the soil.

We will see more of these farms, if farmers cannot use glyphosate.

We will see higher prices for food. We will pay higher prices for food. We will need other countries to feed us.

We will also be complicit in a crime against some of our hardest working Americans.

We will be innocent of legal wrongdoing, but guilty of having legalized a profound wrong against the land. We will have forced farmers to forfeit their land, relinquish their dwellings, and cede their dominion over the earth.

We will be a land without farmers.

Photo credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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