EJToday: Top Headlines
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As world demand for staples like wheat, rice, corn, and soy outpaces dwindling growth in agricultural production, food prices are rising and more people are hungry. Now experts are saying that climate change is playing a bigger role than they once expected.
"The terrifying E. coli outbreak in Europe appears to have been caused by vegetable sprouts grown on an organic farm in Germany, an agriculture official said Sunday as the toll climbed to at least 22 dead and more than 2,200 sickened."
"The bacterium that has killed more than a dozen Europeans, sickened nearly 2,000 more and raised international alarms would be legal if it were found on meat or poultry in the United States."
"Some areas in the tropics face famine because of failing food production, an international research group says."
"Just in time for cookout season, some unsettling news arrives for guacamole and salsa lovers: Federal testing turned up a wide array of unapproved pesticides on the herb cilantro — to an extent that surprises and concerns government scientists."
"A bidding war is heating up among users of corn in the United States as livestock feeders and ethanol makers scramble to lock in supplies before extremely low stocks run dry by this summer."
"Several environmental and public health groups filed suit against the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday to try to force the government to stop farmers from routinely adding antibiotics to livestock feed to help animals grow faster."
"Even during a period of rising food prices and economic uncertainty, Damien Bignon, a poultry farmer in the Paris region, cannot meet the demand from local markets and stores for his organic eggs."
"A dire drought that has plagued Texas and parts of Oklahoma expanded across the key farming state of Kansas over the last week, adding to struggles of wheat farmers already dealing with weather-ravaged fields."
Eighteen non-organic produce industry groups have written the Agriculture Secretary in an an effort to muffle the impact of the upcoming USDA report on pesticide residues. The Environmental Working Group uses the annual data to highlight the "Dirty Dozen" fruits and vegetables.
"The Obama administration will seek to allow the unlimited sale of a corn variety genetically engineered by Monsanto Co. to resist drought, the Department of Agriculture announced [Wednesday]."
"Federal pollution authorities have quietly stepped in to help Minnesota force a huge sugar beet processor near Renville to end its long history of fouling streams that lead to the state's most troubled river."
Phosphorus, mined primarily from phosphate rock, is a key fertilizer ingredient that maintains U.S. farm productivity. But once it runs off into lakes and streams it can be too much of a good thing.
"A proposal to build a large water tunnel under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is incomplete, confused and plagued by a number of scientific gaps despite years of study, according to a National Research Council report."
"Less than a week after the wedding of his son William to Kate Middleton, Prince Charles was in Washington on Wednesday to, among other things, speak at a Georgetown University conference on the future of food and sustainable agriculture, a pet issue of his for nearly 30 years."