"The condemnation was swift when the Agriculture Department announced two weeks ago that it had pulled from its website the animal welfare records from 9,000 research labs, dog breeders and other facilities. ... This week, the department was sued over its move, and federal lawmakers began pressing the Trump administration to again make the records public."
"Michelle Obama’s garden stays. First lady Melania Trump says through a spokeswoman that she is committed to preserving gardens at the White House, including the bountiful one planted by her immediate predecessor."
"In the opening weeks of the Trump administration, the state of animal welfare—as with so much other policy—is in upheaval. On February 9, the administration froze the implementation of the just-passed Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP)—the only comprehensive federal law that regulates the welfare of animals raised for food."
For the first time, Sundance Film Festival spotlighted a single theme, and it was climate change. Documentaries highlighting the issue including a sequel to Al Gore's blockbuster, as well as more than a dozen other films dealing with issues like coral reefs, recyling, changing landscapes and rainforest destruction.
The latest WatchDog TipSheet details an open-records case against U.S. EPA nominee Scott Pruitt (shown), the scoop on an Agriculture Department animal welfare database that vanished then returned, a reporter busted at Standing Rock, plus items on whistleblowers, coal-ash and more.
"Ten thousand years ago, at the dawn of the agricultural revolution, many of our worst infectious diseases didn't exist. Here's what changed."
"Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue's policies in his state favored the timber industry and ignored the climate implications of the loss of forests, opponents argue."
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday abruptly removed inspection reports and other information from its website about the treatment of animals at thousands of research laboratories, zoos, dog breeding operations and other facilities."
"In the final weeks and months of the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs issued a flurry of reports on some of the country’s most widely used pesticides. Decisions made on the basis of these environmental and health assessments will likely determine the level of pesticide residue allowed on the food we eat. They will affect children’s neurological health and development, particularly in agricultural communities. They will determine how farmworkers are protected from pesticide exposures. And they will affect the fate of threatened and endangered species across the country."
"Scientists tracking a crop-destroying caterpillar known as armyworm say it is now spreading rapidly across mainland Africa and could reach tropical Asia and the Mediterranean in the next few years, threatening agricultural trade."