US Agricultural Exports: The Externality is Death
Environmental Science & Technology compared the health costs from these ammonia emissions to the value generated by the exports and found that costs exceeded value by about $12 billion. If other externalities—eutrophication, loss of biodiversity, and greenhouse gas emissions—were taken into account, the net value of agricultural exports would be even more negative. The article suggests shifting toward less animal protein in diets and adopting more sustainable practices for fertilizer use and management. As the global demand for food increases with rising population and incomes, such changes will be vital to maintaining public health.