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  • Agriculture as Industry: The Failure of Environmental and Agricultural Policy to Adapt to the Modern Agricultural Landscape

    This article seeks to identify the biases that exist in the scheme of regulatory and common law, and their resulting harms, and to understand the driving forces that have prevented these laws from adapting to the changing agricultural landscape. Some of these forces are clearly political and economic. However, it is possible that certain social and cultural biases exist as well. Agriculture appears to be deeply rooted in American ideology, and it is this ideology that often allows certain protections to extend not only to farmers like Lemire, but also to larger, more industrial agricultural operations. As a result, modern, commercial agricultural operations have, collectively, largely escaped environmental regulation through exceptions not similarly afforded to other industrial polluters. Part I of this article will illustrate the ways in which agriculture has evolved into an industry and how agricultural policy and anti-regulation has promoted this shift. Part II will identify the biases in the federal and common law. Finally, Part III contains a discussion of extraneous factors such as cultural and historical ideology as it relates to agriculture, as they are additional pressures that contribute to the lack of adequate environmental regulation pertaining to agriculture.