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.
Beekeepers in the remote hills of southern Greece are not seeing colony collapse disorder in their hives. The reason may be that the bees are not exposed to pesticides.
"State and federal investigators on Sunday began their first in-depth look at the cratered epicenter of a fertilizer plant explosion that killed at least 14 people, including about 10 volunteer firefighters and the residents who tried to help them extinguish a fire at the site."
"WEST — In this small, shattered town 80 miles south of Dallas, residents awaiting word on missing loved ones spent most of Thursday finding hope in not knowing for sure.
"A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant rocked the town of West, north of Waco, causing multiple casualties and leaving people trapped and buildings on fire.
Emergency personnel were bracing for the possibility of dozens of dead in the blast, which was reported at 7:53 p.m. and could be heard 45 miles away in Waxahachie.
Although authorities confirmed that at least five to 15 people had died, shortly before 5 a.m. they were still saying they did not have an official total. They have said they expect to find more bodies as they continue to search the area."
"The Obama administration on Monday renewed an interagency agreement that backs the development of biofuels for the aviation industry and reiterated its support for embattled federal renewable fuel targets."
The livestock industry, which has been successfully urging state legislatures to pass bills hamstringing exposes of animal cruelty, has a new tactic that hobbles long-term undercover investigations of feedlots and slaughterhouses.