EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"The Senate moved forward Wednesday on long-awaited legislation that would overhaul the nation's food safety system, grant new powers to the Food and Drug Administration and make farmers and processors responsible for preventing food-borne illness."
A new method of manipulating the genetic code of agricultural plants, known as targeted mutation, uses only genes that already exist in the plant. It may upend the debate over "genetic engineering."
"Up to 1.1 million acres of prairie in the Flint Hills of Kansas could be protected under the first National Wildlife Refuge unit designated by the Obama administration. To create the new protected area, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will establish a voluntary conservation easement program in eastern Kansas."
"In a continued effort to ban arsenic in chicken feed, Food & Water Watch, a Maryland consumer advocacy group, has released a study outlining the environmental and human health impacts posed by 'poisoned poultry.'"
A farm lobby coalition has received federal money to attack the Environmental Working Group's list of the most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables.
"The voluntary quality control system widely used in the nation's $1 trillion domestic food industry is rife with conflicts of interest, inexperienced auditors and cursory inspections that produce inflated ratings, according to food retail executives and other industry experts."
"The Obama administration announced a $760 million settlement Tuesday to resolve charges by thousands of Native American farmers and ranchers who say that for decades the Agriculture Department discriminated against them in loan programs."
"Scientists are poised to eliminate the deadly cattle disease Rinderpest, ending a malady that has devastated animal herds for centuries, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said on Thursday."
"Earlier this week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the state of Ohio's ban on labels that identify milk as rBST- or rBGH-free, meaning produced without the use of artificial bovine growth hormone. Consumer and organic food groups were jubilant at the Ohio news, which may have far-reaching repercussions not only for all milk, but for genetically engineered foods."
"As recently as late December, Monsanto was named 'company of the year' by Forbes magazine. Last week, the company earned a different accolade from Jim Cramer, the television stock market commentator. 'This may be the worst stock of 2010,' he proclaimed."
"Across the northern Rocky Mountains, bighorn sheep are dying by the hundreds from pneumonia and alarmed wildlife officials are hunting and killing the majestic animals to halt the spread of the disease."
"Illinois is failing to crack down on water pollution from large confined-animal farms, the Obama administration announced Wednesday in a stinging rebuke that gave the state a month to figure out how to fix its troubled permitting and enforcement programs."
"A once-unthinkable day is looming on the Colorado River. Barring a sudden end to the Southwest’s 11-year drought, the distribution of the river’s dwindling bounty is likely to be reordered as early as next year because the flow of water cannot keep pace with the region’s demands."
"The world could be on the brink of a major new food crisis caused by environmental disasters and rampant market speculators, the UN will be warned today at an emergency meeting on food price inflation."