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EPA says it could instead compile a database partly from information collected by some states. But that information is often spotty and inconsistent — which will make it hard for EPA to compile it and even harder to make useful conclusions from it. And the withdrawal may make it harder to get the information disclosed.Region:
Here are some recent reports by the Congressional Research Service related to the environment/energy beat. Congress does not release them to the public. We again thank the Federation of American Scientists' Government Secrecy Project for doing so.Topics on the Beat:
Reporter Michael Booth's story resurrected the old issue of whether the public has a right to know the identity and source of foods in commerce that government agencies actually know may be causing fatal illness. The FDA refused to comment on the story.
According to the Los Angeles Times, recent directives from the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force suggest that merely filming commercial acts of cruelty to animals could be a terrorist offense — something that now can lead to indefinite military detention without trial.
The USDA says the number of winter farmers markets rose 38% from 2010 to 2011; 17% the year before. Coverage can include local foods, family-owned vs. corporate enterprises, validity of claims about being family-owned and/or local, food inspections, quality control, state, FDA and USDA regulations, immigration, unemployment, and career changes.
Use the data to report for communities directly affected by fishing or, at a larger scale, as a hook to report on several other related issues. Also, research another hot topic drawing attention — mislabeling of fish species.
USDA evaluated numerous factors for 65,000 census tracts (clickable on the mapping tool), and found that about 10% of them, home to about 13.5 million people, are food deserts where many residents have no access to a large grocery store, due to distance, lack of a vehicle, and/or low income.Topics on the Beat:
Down about 85% from their levels around 130 years ago, according to researchers from the US, China, Italy, Uruguay, and Australia, the decimation of native oysters — a contributor to healthy ecosystems and an indicator of ecosystem health — has largely been caused by overharvesting, disease, and introduction of exotic species.
Much of your audience likely considers food a minor issue since they see it as generally available, affordable, healthy, environmentally benign, and unrelated to issues such as national security. You can help paint a more realistic picture for them, from the global to the local.