Once embraced only by environmentalists and "health nuts," the organic agriculture movement is flourishing in the United States. With this popularity has come a heated national debate. Supporters of organic farming are concerned about the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, growth-hormones, and genetic modification in traditional agriculture. They favor natural farming practices, which they believe produce healthier food, as well as being safer for the environment and more humane to livestock. Defenders of conventional agriculturists question the health benefits and financial costs of organic foods. They also worry that organic agriculture cannot feed the world's growing population. To make sense of this debate, Organic Agriculture takes a hard look at statistics, legislation, and expert opinions from both sides of the issue. It asks tough questions such as: * Does conventional agriculture endanger the environment and human health? * What are the benefits and drawbacks of genetically modified crops and livestock? * Are organic methods of raising livestock more humane? * Is organic food safer and more nutritious than conventionally grown food? * What are the pros and cons of labeling certified organic products? To answer these questions, this book examines the history of the organic movement. It provides a variety of studies, reporting, and opinions from scientists, farmers, activists, agribusiness leaders, journalists, consumer groups, and ordinary Americans. Supplemented with quotes, anecdotes, and discussions from the pages of USA TODAY, The Nation's No. 1 Newspaper, this book will broaden your understanding of all sides of the issue and help you form your own opinion, either for or against organic agriculture.