U of M decision on “Troubled Waters” questioned by commission, other funders


6 thoughts on “U of M decision on “Troubled Waters” questioned by commission, other funders

  1. Molly, thank you for this story.  Please keep us informed about developments as this story continues to unfold. 

    I am curious to know how the standard of “balanced” is interpreted.  Do you think the accusation is that the film is not balanced in terms of fairness?  Meaning the different contributors to our water quality problems, Ag being one, were not treated the same?  Or does it mean the film is not balanced in terms of blame

    If the facts show that agricultural practices* are contributing a far greater percentage of water pollution compared to other pollution sources, then a factual representation could still be balanced in fairness, but not balanced in blame, and legitimately so. 

    * I mean within Ag as an industry – I don’t want to malign all farmers.  There are many farmers trying very hard to take their land and water stewardship obligations seriously.

    Anyway, please stay on this story and let us know what you learn.

  2. I graduated from the old College of Natural Resources at the U of M before it was merged with and put under the College of Agriculture.  I speculate that if CNR was still a separate college and not subject to Dean Levine’s corporate ag whims, this movie would not have been pulled (the Bell Museum would also still be under the CNR).  This issue clearly shows the competing interests of these two fields and colleges.  I call on the U of M to make the College of Natural Resources again a separate college.


  3. A half hour is dedicated to other (non-ag) sources of water pollution in a one hour documentary but yet Dean Al Levine says the film isn’t balanced. He doesn’t argue that the film is inaccurate, but just wants it to be a booster film for Big Ag.  Well maybe Dean Al Levine should get out of his office and make his own film.  Maybe he can come to the many Farmer’s Markets here in Minneapolis where he can witness food being produced organically, without the use of pesticides, petrochemicals, and the mass pollution associated with current State agricultural processes.

    The consumers and taxpayers want and deserve better than what we’re being served currently.  We need films like this to educate and enlighten the citizens to what are the current practices and what needs to happen to change that.  

    We want you, big Ag, to feed us, not poison us.

  4. This is a very interesting conflict I had no idea about. Keep reporting on it! I think it’s absolutely right that a big ag promoter like the U of M releasing a film that apparently calls out big ag for its incredible flaws is a definite conflict of interest. And a step in the right direction. 

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