A massive farm bill soon to emerge for debate in Congress will have enormous implications for the environment beat, affecting natural resources, environmental health and climate, not to mention food production and public health. Backgrounder lays out some of the key issues expected to be taken up in the twice-a-decade measure and provides resources for ongoing coverage.
"After years of environmental assault — from dam building, overfishing, and logging — stretches of the Mekong River, upon which millions of people depend, appear to be recovering. Heavy rains have helped, along with a crackdown on illegal fishing and other conservation efforts."
"Excessive use of phosphorus is depleting reserves vital to global food production, while also adding to the climate crisis".
"In the face of melting permafrost, Iñupiat communities in Alaska find new solutions to keeping traditional ice cellars cold."
"Farmers like Marcella Warner Holman and the companies that deal in beef are experiencing a mix of defensiveness, anger and guarded optimism as they chart a course for survival in a world that’s often telling people to eat less meat or none at all. So far, they say, the messaging war hasn’t shaken Americans’ appetite for steak and burgers — but it’s frustrating nonetheless."
Industrial hog farmers tout swine biogas as a clean, green energy source, but others point to its messy side. A young journalist who investigated the underreported stench of environmental racism associated with this technology learned valuable lessons along the way to producing a feature story that won her a Society of Environmental Journalists’ award for outstanding student reporting.
"The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted to seek public input on gas stoves, a potential first step in regulating the appliances."
"All fish caught in Michigan rivers and tested for toxic PFAS contained the chemicals – and at levels that present a health risk for anyone eating them, according to a new study."
"New lawsuit aims to make the agency do what Congress ordered more than 25 years ago."
"In 1996, Congress ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to test all pesticides used on food for endocrine disruption by 1999. The EPA still doesn’t do this today.
Nor does it appear close to doing so, argue the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed against the agency in December for its ongoing failure to implement the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program.
"Don’t look now, but the divided Congress could pass a major climate change bill."