Call on USDA to Support Natural Alternatives to Synthetic Fertilizers

Target: US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

Goal: Encourage agriculture industry to transition from synthetic fertilizers to natural, environmentally friendly options.

Modern technology is managing to create alternatives to environmentally damaging agricultural practices faster than they can be funded, tested, and implemented. Fortunately, many scientists still pursue natural solutions for our agricultural problems, rather than developing a new cocktail of chemicals to exacerbate the environmental damage already done to the soil, air, and water. Among them is the University of Nottingham’s Professor Edward Cocking, who has recently devised N-Fix, a process for coating seeds with a strain of nitrogen-fixing bacteria which, after entering through the plant’s roots during growth, can spread throughout the organism’s cells so that the plant is able to obtain its own nitrogen from the air.

This process, now a decade into testing, does not involve any genetic modification, and naturally produces plants that have no need for the nitrogen provided by synthetic fertilizers that currently are the cause of many agricultural problems. Instead of creating ever more toxic fertilizers and injecting plants with foreign genetic material, agricultural science should look to natural alternatives to such procedures. As Prof. Cocking put it, “‘Helping plants to naturally obtain the nitrogen they need is a key aspect of World Food Security. The world needs to unhook itself from its ever increasing reliance on synthetic nitrogen fertilizers produced from fossil fuels with its high economic costs, its pollution of the environment and its high energy costs.’”

By signing this petition, you will show Secretary Vilsack that the United States must prioritize natural, environmentally-safe agricultural solutions, including this alternative to synthetic fertilizers. This country has the resources to help support positive environmental progress, by funding these projects or offering subsidies for businesses which fund or make use of these technologies.


Dear Secretary Vilsack,

With the global environment suffering more every day as a result of pollution and general mistreatment, it is more important than ever that the United States government take action to support environmentally friendly agricultural practices. Recently developed technologies such as Professor Edward Cocking’s N-Fix process – which introduces nitrogen-fixing bacteria to plant seeds so that they grow up with the ability to fix their own nitrogen from the air – can take the place of damaging synthetic fertilizers.

I am urging you to use your influence to support these alternative solutions, by advocating for government funding to test these emerging technologies as well as for government subsidies for businesses which make use of the final products. We cannot wait for our environmental situation to worsen further before we take action.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: chuckoutrearseats via Flickr

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