The worst aspects right now of so called "industrial agriculture" is the unnecessary overuse of pesticides and antibiotics. Low dose use of antibiotics in livestock has been around since the 1950's, and despite many warnings it's only now that health agencies are moving to limit their use, especially the antibiotics that are important to humans. Just after the war scientists discovered that small amounts (sub-therapeutic) does of antibiotics make livestock grow more quickly. No one knows exactly why, but the worry for decades has been simple: nature continually evolves, that includes the bacteria, weeds and other pests we want less of, and eventually resistance is built up to whatever is being used. In other words the antibiotics stop working. The overuse/resistance dynamic is just as serious with herbicides. The development of "round-up ready" gmo oilseeds and corn has led to huge overuse of what's been a useful herbicide, glyphosphate. (beyond this there is new evidence that glyphosphate can cause cancer as well). A couple of recent articles captures the deep problems caused by overuse. In one, some European countries have begun more sensible use of antibiotics in livestock, use it only when animals are sick. What a concept.