"Europe and Australia long ago recognized the benefits of a fertilizer formula that doesn’t blow up. Here, the chemical industry fought back."
"WASHINGTON, DC -- Multiple factors are responsible for the steep decline in honey bees across the United States, including parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure, federal government officials reported today, releasing a new scientific consensus on honey bee health."
"The Texas fertilizer plant that blew up on April 17, killing at least 15 people, appears to have been claiming an arcane exemption that allowed it to avoid targeted workplace inspections and safety requirements and enter a 'streamlined prevention program' with environmental regulators, a government spokesman confirmed."
A new analysis says federal crop insurance not only allowed corn and soybean farmers to survive last summer's drought, it also allowed them to make higher profits than in a normal year -- at taxpayer expense.
"The danger that the decline of bees and other pollinators represents to the world’s food supply was highlighted this week when the European Commission decided to ban a class of pesticides suspected of playing a role in so-called 'colony collapse disorder.'"
"EU member states vote in favour of continent-wide suspension of neonicotinoid pesticides."
The Agriculture Department is poised to approve an increase in line speeds at poultry processing plants. That is likely to mean increased use of toxic, bacteria-killing chemicals which have harmed some workers.
"HATCH, N.M. -- In southern New Mexico, the mighty Rio Grande has gone dry -- reduced to a sandy wash winding from this chile farming community to the nation's leading pecan-producing county. Only puddles remain, leaving gangs of carp to huddle together in a desperate effort to avoid the fate of thousands of freshwater clams, their shells empty and broken on the river bottom."
News stories about the April 17, 2013, explosion of a fertilizer storage plant in the town of West, Texas that killed 15 people have so far focused on the plant operator's risk-disclosure failure, instead of the likely fact that government agencies knew the nature and magnitude of the hazard — or should have known. The bigger story is the regulatory failure — and industry's decades-long campaign to keep the public ignorant of the threats they face. Photo: AP/LM Otero/Available through Creative Commons.
In this issue: Special report on energy and climate change; first installment of new column 'Freelance Files' on goal setting; database helps track illegal parkland conversions; members cover sprawl, science and chickens; annual Sundance Film Festival report; and six book reviews.