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AgMag BLOG

Feeding your mind, saving the planet >>

The Latest from AgMag

Monday, February 2, 2015

A mega-farm is a colloquial term, not an official designation used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nor any other agricultural authority for that matter. Yet it’s often bantered about in reference to the Corn Belt—the corn-producing states in the Midwest—where the consolidation of commodity farms continues at an unprecedented pace.

Key Issues: 
Friday, January 30, 2015

Growing corn to make fuel for your car just doesn’t work. And reversing government policies that require it would ease a world of problems.

 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

When consumers across Europe started campaigning for GMO labeling in the early 1990s, Monsanto released a series of advertisements in support of mandatory GMO labels.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, January 15, 2015

Some companies are so hell-bent on avoiding oversight of their genetically engineered crops that they are using new technique to avoid any government review of the safety and environmental impact of their products.

The technique – called gene “editing” – allows companies to create all sorts of new plants and crops.

What could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The American Farm Bureau Federation believes that it’s simply cheaper to pollute America’s rivers and streams – and pass the cost on to water utilities like the Des Moines Water Works – than it is to adopt conservation practices that help reduce polluted runoff from farm fields.

Key Issues: 
Friday, January 9, 2015

Around the world, food production occupies more land than any other human activity (about 40 times the area of all cities and suburbs combined), uses more freshwater than anything else people do and is a major source of carbon pollution in the air and nitrogen pollution in the water. 

So it should be obvious that the food choices we make in supermarkets, restaurants and in our homes have a big influence on the world around us. Making small changes in what we eat can have big environmental benefits.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Every year, EWG’s editors ask our colleagues on the EWG staff to tell us what they consider the Top 10 environmental stories of the year in each of the two topic areas covered by the two blogs on EWG’s website – Enviroblog and AgMag. All of us – from senior scientists to policy analysts to web designers to support staff and even management – get a chance to nominate as many stories as we want. From those two lists each staff member then votes for what she or he considers the three most important stories in each category.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Two of the nation’s leading agricultural economists say federal crop insurance is greatly over-subsidized, adding yet another authoritative voice to those calling for reform.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

In 2007, corn ethanol was offered up as an environmentally friendly alternative to gasoline. But nearly seven years to the day since Congress put it in play, we’re still not seeing the benefits. In fact, quite the opposite. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Some members of the U.S. Congress don’t want you to know how the food you eat strains natural resources.  That’s the meaning of a statement attached to the omnibus federal spending bill Congress sent to President Obama last Saturday.

 

Friday, December 12, 2014

America needs a national labeling law for genetically engineered foods. That was the consensus of a majority of the members of Congress from both sides of the aisle during a well-attended subcommittee hearing Wednesday on the Food and Drug Administration’s role in regulating genetically modified food.  

Key Issues: 
Thursday, December 11, 2014

In what has become an annual ritual, Congress unveiled this week a massive spending bill to keep the government going, which includes provisions that would cut hundreds of millions of dollars from vital programs that protect our land and water.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Organic farming isn’t just a niche for a privileged elite.

A new study, published today (Dec 10th) in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London shows that organic farmers can achieve yields nearly as large as their counterparts practicing conventional agriculture. And they can still cultivate crops without highly toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers that pollute groundwater and stimulate algae blooms that suffocate marine life.

Key Issues: 
Friday, December 5, 2014

Corn ethanol production has soared to record heights this year, and with large harvests and low corn prices, that means record profits for the industry. Yet even with ethanol refiners making money hand over fist, the industry still claims it needs a government mandate to stay afloat.

 

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Critics of EWG research that highlights the runaway conversion of pasture, forest and rangeland to grow row crops like to claim that our findings are contradicted by the Census of Agriculture published by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. They say that the census shows that acreage under cultivation is actually dropping. There’s just one problem with that.

 

Friday, November 7, 2014

According to a new study from the Department of Energy, corn ethanol has helped drive down the energy content in a gallon of gasoline by 3 percent since 1993.  And less energy per gallon means fewer miles per gallon.

Key Issues: 
Friday, November 7, 2014

Many of the Democrats who lost their seats this week voted for the 2014 farm bill – only to see farm groups donate to their Republican opponents.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Contrary to the claims of food industry giants and biotechnology companies, requiring labels on genetically engineered food won’t drive up food prices. Labeling would not ban the technology or force farmers and manufacturers to switch to non-GE ingredients; it would simply require that food containing GE ingredients be labeled, so that consumers can make informed decisions about what they want to eat.

Key Issues: 
Monday, November 3, 2014

Food policy decisions pending before Congress and the Obama administration could set the table for decades of better eating – or more leftovers.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Clean, cheap water from your tap might soon be a thing of the past.

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