Agriculture

"Honey Bee Decline Due to ‘Complex’ Multiple Factors" -- Study

"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."

Source: ENS, 05/03/2013

Exemption Shields Some Fertilizer Plants from Safety Rules, Inspections

"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."

Source: Center for Public Integrity, 05/02/2013

"NM Grapples With Tough Choices as Drought Persists"

"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."

Source: AP, 04/25/2013

Texas Fertilizer Explosion Re-Raises Buried Hazmat Disclosure Issues

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.

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