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.
"CHICAGO -- At Ming Hin Cuisine in Chicago's Chinatown, a giant shark fin decorates the wall in the main dining room, and shark fin soup is offered on the banquet menu for customers willing to pay the price."
"A new survey suggests a popular class-room solution for Canadian and American teachers may be causing problems for Mother Nature. The study from Oregon State University says a quarter of teachers who use live organisms as teaching tools release the species into the wild when the classroom unit is finished, but only 10 per cent of them do it through a planned release program."
"WASHINGTON -- Storied manufacturer Gibson Guitar Corp. will pay $350,000 and improve its import controls in exchange for the government deferring prosecution of environmental crimes, the Department of Justice announced Monday."
"As the Midwest crunches into sweet corn season, a new type will be appearing on grocery store shelves — even though shoppers have no way to recognize it. It's genetically modified sweet corn from the biotech giant Monsanto, engineered to resist a common herbicide and certain pests."
"A gray whale baby boom appears to be under way along Alaska's arctic coast. Scientists tracking marine mammals in the Chukchi Sea report an unprecedented number of sightings of gray whale calves in July."
"Beekeepers in the U.S., looking for a way to stop or slow the die-offs devastating their industry, are watching their options dwindle along with the bees. Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejected a petition [PDF] that beekeepers and environmental groups filed back in March asking EPA to stop sales of clothianidin, a pesticide believed to be harmful to bees. EPA said use of the chemical does not present an “imminent hazard” — the requirement to suspend registration of a pesticide."
"When Hadyn Parry, chief executive officer of the British biotechnology company Oxitec Ltd, appeared at a Key West town hall meeting to present his plan to use genetically modified mosquitoes in the fight to eradicate dengue fever, he came up against familiar resistance."
Researchers are studying whether the chytrid fungus -- which has decimated frog and salamander populations around the world -- is being spread among wild amphibians by the release of infected animals bought at pet stores. The fungus has devastated some 200 species globally, and may be responsible for the greatest known disease-caused loss of biodiversity in recorded history.
"HENDERSON, Minn. — Minnesota made headlines around the world in 1995 when schoolchildren discovered dozens of grossly deformed frogs in a pond in south central Minnesota."
"Efforts to write benefits for biotech seed companies into US legislation, including the new Farm Bill, are sparking a backlash from groups that say the multiple measures would severely limit US oversight of genetically modified crops."
"For salmon trying to make it upriver to spawn before a hot summer hits, slow and steady loses the evolutionary race. Salmon DNA records stretching back over 30 years show that nature has increasingly selected for fish that migrate from the ocean earlier in the year. It is among the first pieces of genetic evidence that climate change is driving the evolution of a species."
"UK company wants to unleash genetically modified insects in the Keys, but residents fear not enough is known about the insects"
"This week a major conference in Cairns, Australia, is focusing on threats to coral reefs. Across the globe, reefs have been savaged by rising sea temperatures, overfishing, pollution and ocean acidification – a phenomenon related to rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere that make it difficult for creatures to build their shells and skeletons."
"LOS ANGELES -- White abalone, the endangered shellfish that once numbered in the millions off the Southern California coast, have declined precipitously over the last decade and are on the brink of extinction, a study has found."