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Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on May 16th, 2017

A water pollution lawsuit that pit Iowa’s capital city against the state’s iconic farmers made the thorny issue one for lawmakers to address. But the legislature wrapped up its session last week without taking action.

 

That leaves Des Moines Water Works, the utility that filed the lawsuit, and farmers in almost exactly the same place they were before they went to court: The utility faces bigger bills to remove farming-related chemicals from the Raccoon River, its source of drinking water, and the farmers still aren't required to reduce pollution from their farms.


Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on May 16th, 2017

Today, Friends of the Earth and its allies are announcing a major advancement in their fight to protect essential pollinator populations. Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and True Value have decided to eliminate neonicotinoid pesticides, a leading driver of global bee declines, from company garden retail supply chains. This follows an ongoing campaign by Friends of the Earth and allies urging garden retailers, including True Value and Walmart, to stop selling plants treated with neonicotinoids and remove products containing them from store shelves. 

 

 
Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on May 16th, 2017

Raw milk advocates' efforts to expand availability across the U.S. have not slowed despite health officials' assertions that it's dangerous to drink milk that hasn't been heated to kill bacteria.

 

Efforts to legalize raw milk sales in some form have succeeded in 42 states, and expansion pushes are ongoing this year in states including Illinois, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, Rhode Island, North Dakota and Texas.

 

 

Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on May 15th, 2017

Seven of the largest school districts in the nation, spanning the country from New York City to Los Angeles, say they won’t relax school lunch standards despite Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s offer of flexibility in school meals. At the start of the week, Perdue said the USDA will delay the requirements for less salt and more whole grains in the federally subsidized school lunch program.

 

“We, as large districts, have been able to meet and continue to support the nutrition standards set by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA),” said the Urban School Food Alliance, formed in 2012 to give schools greater bargaining leverage with suppliers. “We recognize that smaller school food programs with limited resources struggle to meet certain aspects of the act. The flexibility outlined by the secretary of agriculture will be a great benefit to most of the nation’s school food programs.”

 

 
Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on May 11th, 2017

If you have ever taken a serious interest in sustainable agriculture practices, then you have encountered the work of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.

 

 

Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on May 10th, 2017

FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters) — Bayer has agreed to sell its Liberty herbicide and LibertyLink-branded seeds businesses to win antitrust approval for its acquisition of Monsanto.

 

The divestment of the two global brands, a requirement imposed by South Africa’s Competition Commission, will account for the bulk of asset sales, worth about $2.5 billion, which need to be made to satisfy competition regulators looking at the US$66 million Monsanto deal, sources close to the matter have said.

 

Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on May 09th, 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board, the latest signal of what critics call a campaign by the Trump administration to shrink the agency’s regulatory reach by reducing the role of academic research.

 

A spokesman for the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, said he would consider replacing the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate, as part of the wide net it plans to cast. “The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community,” said the spokesman, J. P. Freire.

 

 

Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on May 09th, 2017

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejected a petition Thursday to ban perchlorate from our food, a chemical known to impair brain development in infants.

 

While best known as a rocket fuel component, perchlorate is approved for use in packaging for dry food such as baby rice cereal, flour and spices. Unfortunately, it also winds up in the food we eat.

Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on May 09th, 2017

The pesticide industry and Dow Chemical have a new reason to cheer. The rest of us appear to be stuck with chlorpyrifos on our food, at least for the time being.

 

On March 29, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the EPA would reverse a proposed ban on this extremely harmful pesticide and allow it to remain on the market. The move adds to the Trump administration's growing roster of decisions informed by "alternative facts." Nearly two decades' worth of scientific studies—including analyses by Pruitt's own agency—have documented the numerous risks this bug-killer poses to children and pregnant women.

 

 

Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on May 08th, 2017

Organic milk is widely available these days, but what does that label really mean? A new investigation from The Washington Post found that there are considerable differences between the organic milk you can buy in a grocery store and the kind you can buy straight from farmers. Peter Whoriskey investigated the Aurora Organic Dairy, which supplies house-brand organic milk to many large retailers and other large dairy operations. He joined NPR's Scott Simon on Weekend Edition Saturday to talk about what he found out from his investigation.

 

 
Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on May 08th, 2017

Scientists from the University of California at San Diego and Sapphire Energy released results Thursday from the first open-pond trials of genetically engineered microalgae.

 

 

The study, along with research and development of genetically modified (GMO) algae for biofuels, is occurring ahead of adequate regulatory oversight, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's process to establish and update regulations for genetically engineered algae to protect human health and the environment.


Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on May 08th, 2017

Maine's Republican Gov. Paul LePage is backing a bill that would strip the pesticide regulations of dozens of cities and towns and prevent them from enacting new rules.

 

In summary, LD 1505 would prohibit a municipality from "adopting or continuing to enforce any ordinance or rule regarding the sale or use of pesticides." The legislation would affect the regulations of 27 Maine municipalities.

 

 
Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on May 08th, 2017

The recently passed Congressional budget that averted government shutdown will allocate $3 million to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to promote "the environmental, nutritional, food safety, economic and humanitarian impacts" of biotech crops and genetically modified (GMO) ingredients in food to consumers—many of whom are wary of the products.

 

While the specifics of the campaign are yet unclear, the measure calls for the "publication and distribution of science-based educational information."

 

 

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