The future of aquaculture in New Jersey
New Jersey Department of Agriculture is headed down a dangerous course by promoting a soy-based aquaculture industry. We should be clear that the program’s sponsor, the United Soybean Board, is the marketing arm of the notorious Monsanto corporation with the help of pesticide maker DuPont. Together they champion gains in agricultural sustainability and it is true that they have boosted production per acre and that we are now dependent on these petroleum-based pesticides with genetically modified crops. Yet this comes at the expense of our health and our environment including many of the problems we now face in our bays. Fertilizer runoff from corn and soy production is considered the #1 cause of water pollution that leads to the dead zones in our ponds, lakes and bays. This is just one issue in a laundry list of problems caused or accelerated by the soy bean industry. Consumer groups have recently called into question the safety of eating any fish that is fed a soy-based diet. I urge the state to avoid making the same mistakes in development of its aquaculture that no plague the salmon industry in other states. While it is tempting to take the funding offered by Monsanto and company to expand the state’s aquaculture, we are better off moving slowly than accelerating the industry at the expense of our environment and consumer safety.