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 large fraction of the honey eaten by North American consumers is produced in China, and contaminated with antibiotics and adulterants. An elaborate enterprise works to hide its Chinese origins.
"A food scandal in Germany deepened Friday, as regional authorities shut down more than 4,700 farms after tests showed animal feed had been contaminated by a chemical that can cause cancer."
"U.S. customs officials said on Wednesday they had found a beetle considered one of the world's most dangerous agricultural pests in a shipment of rice arriving at Los Angeles International Airport."
"The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization announced this week that food prices hit a record high last month. Its Food Price Index was 214.7 for December, the highest level since the organization created the index to measure the price of a standard basket of goods in 1990."
"With President Obama slated to sign historic food-safety legislation into law Tuesday, the coalition of food industry, public interest and consumer groups that used a public health message to win its passage is now making an argument for its funding."
"A coalition of environmental and farmworker groups said in a lawsuit announced Monday that state pesticide regulators improperly cut off public comment on a controversial agricultural fumigant in order to secure its passage before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's term ended."
"The best news for wine growers Kevin and Karen Kohlman was this: Their vines did not get hit this season by pesticides drifting onto their property from surrounding private industrial forestlands. That’s a change."
"The struggle over huge livestock farms continues to roil in Missouri and Kansas, and no wonder -- a new report shows the two states in the middle of the growing concentration of factory farming."
A California state appeals court ruled that an organic farmer can seek damages from a pesticide company whose product was applied to neighboring fields and contaminated the organic farmer's fields by volatilization rather than spray drift.
Alarm bells are being set off by a new study of the families of California farm workers exposed to pesticides. It finds much higher levels of pervasive developmental disorder among children of mothers exposed to higher levels of neurotoxicant organophosphate pesticides.
"The House of Representatives gave final approval on Tuesday to a long-awaited modernization of the nation’s food safety laws, voting 215 to 144 to grant the Food and Drug Administration greater authority over food production."
"Reacting to a French pledge to represent the 'common interest' in considering biotech foods, a former US ambassador recommended publishing a 'retaliation list' of European locations where genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were being grown in hopes that activists would destroy them and 'cause some pain' for officials, a leaked diplomatic cable shows."
"The Senate on Sunday night cleared a food safety package, curbing earlier fears the popular bill would die by the end of this session as a result of a procedural error by upper chamber lawmakers."
"Amid complaints of environmental harm and pressure from a federal court, U.S. agriculture regulators are considering a compromise approval for genetically altered alfalfa that would allow the crop to be grown with certain restrictions aimed at protecting non-GMO crops, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Thursday."
"An internal EPA memo released [Dec. 8] confirms that the very agency charged with protecting the environment is ignoring the warnings of its own scientists about clothianidin, a pesticide from which Bayer racked up ... about $262 million in sales in 2009."