The Packer: The late Steve Jobs told a roomful of Apple groupies at MacWorld in 1997, “We have to let go of the notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft must lose.” I used a variation of that theme to frame a discussion on the challenges of co-managing food safety and environmental measures at a conference in 2009.

“For food safety to win, the environment doesn’t have to lose,” I told a group of stakeholders back then. At the time, foodborne illnesses involving fresh produce had sparked concern over wildlife near fields and the perceived negative effects on food safety. While well intentioned, many growers took action to eliminate natural vegetation and exclude wildlife without clear evidence to show these measures would improve food safety. A 2015 study later showed that removing habitat does not mitigate risk — in fact, quite the opposite.

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