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.
A new viral disease that destroys cassava crops is spreading explosively in East Africa. Cassava, the world's third largest source of calories, is eaten by some 800 million people in Africa, South America, and Asia.
Recent outbreaks of foodborned diseases like E. coli have pressured USDA to tighten food safety rules. The sources of outbreaks are often large industrial operation -- but small farmers who can't afford to comply may be forced out of business.
"US researchers claim to have identified a new potential cause for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in honeybees." They think a synergistic effect of two pathogens -- a fungus and a family of viruses -- may be the culprit.
The Labor Department and the Environmental Protection Agency pledged to do a better job of protecting the 300,000 to 400,000 child farmworkers from threats including pesticide exposure, after a stinging new report from Human Rights Watch.
"For 100 years, Mexico City has flushed its wastewater north to irrigate the farmland of Hidalgo State. This foul cascade, which the farmers call 'the black waters,' flows through a latticework of canals and then trickles over the fields. So when word got out that the government was finally going to build a giant wastewater treatment plant, one might have expected the farmers around here to be excited. Instead, they were suspicious."
"Nutrients in manure and synthetic fertilizers deplete oxygen in streams while fecal bacteria are posing health risks."
"Weeds are developing resistance to the herbicide that genetically engineered crops are designed to tolerate, finds the first major assessment of how biotech crops are affecting all U.S. farmers, released today by the National Research Council."
"The National Organic Program's failure to promptly follow through on investigations has allowed some companies to continue falsely advertising products as organic for years and let one company off the hook entirely, according to an audit released yesterday by the inspector general of the U.S. Agriculture Department."
"A federal judge on Tuesday said farmers could harvest their genetically engineered sugar beets this year, ruling that the economic impact would be too great if the crop were to be destroyed."