A freelance journalist is challenging in court the US Department of Agriculture's efforts to keep secret its data on who owns the feedlots Americans can see and smell, but whose pollution the food industry does not want USDA to regulate.
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Under industry pressure, the U.S. Agriculture Department is considering hiding from consumers information about which retailers might be selling the tainted meat recalled because of health and safety risks.Topics on the Beat:
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In one of many last-minute actions, the Bush administration delayed a decision on a drinking water standard for the contaminant perchlorate (used in rocket fuel, explosives, fireworks, and many other industrial products, and also occurs naturally), but issued a temporary advisory recommendation. This has immediate implications for at least 31 large US utilities, and perhaps hundreds more.
Large feedlots would no longer have to report toxic emissions under a rule proposed Dec. 21, 2007, by EPA.
The Senate passed a five-year Farm Bill Dec. 14, 2007, that softened a provision imposing draconian penalties for publication of information from a federal database for tracking food animals.
Consumers looking for information on which fish may be better to eat, considering factors such as sustainability, health, or source identification, have a range of potential sources.
A judge's decision has cracked open the black box of at least one genetically engineered crop: alfalfa.
More fish in US federal marine waters have become overfished, according to NOAA's annual assessment for 2006, released June 22, 2007