Although the US food supply remains among the safest in the world, it also remains a point of vulnerability to terrorist attack.
Amid the torrent of terrorism news, one angle that's been overlooked is agroterrorism -- using biological agents as weapons against crops or livestock.
During the week of Sept. 24, 2001, EPA is scheduled to issue a final decision on whether to reregister Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) plant pesticide applications for cotton.
In spite of one of its own scientists co-authoring a 2005 study finding toxic mercury in high fructose corn syrup, the Food and Drug Administration gave a green light to the corn industry's campaign advertising corn syrup as "natural."
A freelance journalist is challenging in court the US Department of Agriculture's efforts to keep secret its data on who owns the feedlots Americans can see and smell, but whose pollution the food industry does not want USDA to regulate.
Under industry pressure, the U.S. Agriculture Department is considering hiding from consumers information about which retailers might be selling the tainted meat recalled because of health and safety risks.
In one of many last-minute actions, the Bush administration delayed a decision on a drinking water standard for the contaminant perchlorate (used in rocket fuel, explosives, fireworks, and many other industrial products, and also occurs naturally), but issued a temporary advisory recommendation. This has immediate implications for at least 31 large US utilities, and perhaps hundreds more.
Large feedlots would no longer have to report toxic emissions under a rule proposed Dec. 21, 2007, by EPA.