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  • EPA won’t regulate logging road runoff | High Country News

    Dirt and crushed gravel from the West’s hundreds of thousands of miles of logging roads often erodes into nearby streams, where it can harm water quality and fish. State regulation of road runoff varies, so a 2003 Oregon lawsuit sought to require federal regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency. Despite some success in lower courts, in 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EPA is not required to control sediment from such roads.  In July, the EPA upheld that policy. The agency argued that streams are already adequately protected by the Clean Water Act and by regional programs that tailor soil erosion management according to local climate and topographies. A spokeswoman from the Environmental Defense Center, which brought the suit, says the decision is “a lost opportunity for much-needed improvements in water quality for public health.” 

    Post date: Wed, 07/20/2016 - 09:38
  • Americans Are Buying Gene-Edited Food That's Not Labeled GMO | Bloomburg

    Farmers and scientists have manipulated crops for thousands of years. Gene-editing is what proponents call a more precise version of mutation breeding that’s been used since the mid-1900s. Commercial varieties of edibles, including wheat, barley, rice and grapefruit, were created by mutating DNA with chemicals or radiation.  Crops are on the forefront of gene-editing because plant DNA is the easiest to manipulate. San Diego-based Cibus changed one letter from canola’s DNA to create the new variant. Farmers in North Dakota and Montana planted about 20,000 acres of sulfonylurea-resistant canola this year, and Cargill Inc. is making it into cooking oil. Developing a new trait takes just five years with gene-editing, compared with seven to nine years with traditional breeding techniques and as long as 15 years with transgenic methods, which have been used to create the current generation of GMOs.

     

    Post date: Wed, 07/20/2016 - 09:36
  • Clean-energy jobs up 15 percent in Pennsylvania | Pittsburgh Business Times

    A new report counts 66,000 clean-energy related jobs in Pennsylvania, up 15 percent from the last study published two years ago. Clean Jobs Pennsylvania, published by the nonpartisan Environmental Entrepreneurs advocacy group and the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, said the employment at 5,900 businesses statewide was about 1 percent of the state's total nonfarm jobs. Most of the jobs, about 80 percent, were in what the report called the energy efficiency sector. Most of the rest, 8,800 jobs, were in renewable energy, which includes solar, wind and hydroelectric power manufacturing.

    Post date: Wed, 07/20/2016 - 09:34
  • GMO spud sponsors Boise Olympic cyclist | Capital Press

    Boise cyclist Kristin Armstrong will head to the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro with the apparent distinction of being the first athlete ever sponsored by a crop bred using biotechnology.  Armstrong will be 43 when she pursues her third Olympic gold medal, competing in the individual women’s time trial.  She’ll also be raising awareness about the nutritional value of potatoes — and Simplot Plant Sciences’ Innate line of genetically modified Russet Burbanks and Ranger Russets in particular. Marketed under the White Russet label, the first generation of Innate russets contains traits introduced from other potatoes to keep them from browning after cutting, reduce bruising and reduce the formation of a potentially unhealthy chemical, called acrylamide, found in certain fried foods. The second generation of Innate, which awaits approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will include the original traits, plus enhanced cold storage and strong resistance to the destructive late blight pathogen.

    Post date: Wed, 07/20/2016 - 09:33
  • FDA’s Strategic Plan for Foods and Veterinary Medicine | OFW Law

    The FDA Foods and Veterinary Medicine Program-Strategic Plan.  This FVM Program outlines goals and objectives for the next 10 years: GOAL 1: Food Safety Hazards -- Protect America’s Consumers and Animals from Foreseeable Hazards. 1.1: Establish and gain high rates of compliance with science-based preventive control standards across the global farm-to-table continuum. 1.2: Improve prevention, detection, and response to foodborne illness outbreaks and other food and feed safety incidents.1.3: Strengthen the ability of consumers to play a proactive role in minimizing food safety risks. 1.4: Enhance the safety of food and feed additives and dietary supplements. 1.5: Strengthen existing partnerships with international, federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the FDA’s food safety program for government and industry. GOAL 2: Nutrition -- Foster an Environment to Promote Healthy and Safe Food Choices.     GOAL 3: Animal Health -- Protect Human and Animal Health by Enhancing the Safety and Effectiveness of Animal Health Products.  GOAL 4: Organizational Excellence -- Continuously Improve the Leadership, Management, Staffing and Organizational Capacity of the FVM Program to Protect Public Health

           

    Post date: Wed, 07/20/2016 - 09:32

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Gleanings

Farm

Are corporations taking over America’s food supply?

15 March, 2016

Family farms.  The foundation of America’s food security.  According to the USDA, 97 percent of farms are family farms, and they grow 90 percent of the food produced. But national policies to keep food affordable (American’s spend less than 7 percent of their paycheck for food) and the boom and bust cycles of farming have resulted in larger, more concentrated farming practices. 

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