Agriculture

Read the Reports Congress Doesn't Want You To Read

Here are some reports of possible interest to environmental journalists from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Congress does not release them to the public, but the Union of Concerned Scientists' Government Secrecy Project does.

"In Paris, the USDA Puts Food and Climate Change Center Stage"

"From droughts to pests, disease, wildfire, and extreme weather, the agency spotlights food and agriculture at COP21."

"As world leaders gather in Paris this week to negotiate a new global climate agreement, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is sounding the alarm about the enormous challenges ahead for the food we eat.

Source: Civil Eats, 12/02/2015

Crop Insurance Subsidies Prove Cutting Budget Is Easier Said Than Done

"In April, Republicans newly in control of Congress celebrated their agreement on a plan to save $5 trillion — that’s trillion, with a 'T' — and balance the budget in a decade. 'We continue to get things done for the American people,' boasted the House speaker at the time, John A. Boehner. Yet as the year closes, Congress instead is planning to repeal one of the few spending cuts it has passed into law since approving that budget resolution: $3 billion over a decade from subsidies for crop insurers."

Source: NY Times, 11/27/2015

"Hemp, No Longer Illegal, Is Poised For A Comeback In The U.S."

"The last time the U.S. enjoyed a hemp revival was during World War II, when the country could no longer import cheap rope fiber from Asia. The effort, called Hemp for Victory, was promoted by the government even though plantings of hemp, a relative of marijuana, were tightly restricted. More than a half-century later, there is a new push to reestablish the ancient crop."

Source: Chemical & Engineering News, 11/24/2015

"This Tiny Moth Is Stirring Up The GMO Debate in New York"

"A new facet of the GMO debate has come to upstate New York in the form of a fluttering, genetically engineered moth that its developers say could help cut down on the use of harmful pesticides in agriculture. But some food safety advocacy groups aren’t so sure: They’re worried about the insect’s safety and its potential to hurt business for farmers in the region."

Source: Wash Post, 11/24/2015

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