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(Article Summarized by Meridian Institute) “Imagine,” this editorial begins, “if Minnesotans and Dakotans were dumping chemicals that ended up downriver and threatened the livelihoods of Iowans. How would we react? Would we believe their assurances that they’re doing all they can? Would we give them decades to clean up their act?” And, the editors continue, if you were a fisherman in Louisiana, dealing with the impact of runoff from Midwestern farm fields, what would you think if one of those states - Iowa - resisted funding ways to help keep nutrients from reaching waterways? You might, they write, think the whole thing stinks. But, the editors add, that indeed is the situation in the Gulf of Mexico, where the “dead zone” has grown to its largest size since mapping began. While Iowa farmers are undertaking voluntary efforts to reduce the amount of fertilizer and herbicide reaching the Gulf, it is not enough. To make a real difference, the editors say, “we must change federal policies that provide growers with incentives to plant more corn that leads to more environmental problems. And it might require regulating excess nitrogen and phosphorus pollution… Expect such calls for action to grow louder, up and down the Mississippi River. It’s time for leaders in Iowa and Washington to clean the fertilizer out of their ears.”

Posted August 10th, 2017