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AgMag BLOG

Feeding your mind, saving the planet >>

The Latest from AgMag

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Government researchers have announced a promising technological development that may turn the ethanol industry on its head.  In a joint press conference this morning (April 1), top scientists from Growth Energy, joined by representatives of the US Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Treasury Department, gathered to brief the media on a new enzyme, dubbed 'simoleonase,' that could radically change the biofuels landscape.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Perdue Chicken Chairman Jim Perdue is retaliating against environmentalists -- and their lawyers -- who filed filed suit against the poultry giant and one of its contract chicken farms on March 2 for violations of the Clean Water Act. From The Washington Post: In Maryland, messing with Big Chicken can bring big trouble. The latest case study is playing out in Annapolis, where the state Senate wants to impose greater scrutiny on the University of Maryland's environmental law clinic.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

EWG couldn't do all of our great work without your support.  As a small show of appreciation, we're sharing with you this special recipe and photo album from our San Francisco Earth Dinner.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

After 30 years as a top chef in some of this country's best restaurants,  Chef Ann Cooper has turned to fighting the obesity epidemic currently plaguing America's children. First she claimed the title of "Renegade Lunch Lady" while running the public school lunch program in Berkeley, Calif. Now, Cooper has embarked on an ambitious program to put healthier food in schools across the nation from her new home base in Boulder, Colo.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) plans to mark up her Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 this week (March 24). The legislation would reauthorize child nutrition programs and increase their funding by $4.5 billion over 10 years.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Good, healthy food was on the menu -- and on the agenda -- this month (March 3) when EWG staff and key supporters gathered in San Francisco for a sumptuous meal and lively discussion at EWG’s 2010 Earth Dinner. The goal of the Earth Dinner was to introduce the audience of environmental stalwarts to the increasing convergence of EWG's two major fields of work -- how common toxic chemicals find their way into the bodies of America's children and the impact of modern agriculture on the environment and human health.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

 

It's bad enough what marine "Dead Zones" do to the oceans; now it looks as if they're drivers of global warming as well. In a new report in the March 12 edition of the journal Science, Dr. Lou Codispoti of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science found that as Dead Zones expand, they release more nitrous oxide -- a particularly potent greenhouse gas.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

You hear plenty of talk about the ballooning federal deficit created by tax cuts, two wars and the effort to dig out of the economic meltdown, but precious little about the funding gap that’s hollowing out federal programs designed to protect America’s soil and water.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama’s noble fight against childhood obesity cannot be won unless members of Congress act boldly this spring and vote to give school lunches the healthy makeover that our kids deserve and desperately need.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Environmentalists filed suit against poultry giant Perdue and one of its contract chicken farms last week (March 2) for violations to the Clean Water Act.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

If you're in Washington DC tonight (March 16) and want to see a cracking good documentary film on the dangers of natural gas drilling, then head on over to the Carnegie Institution for Science for a free screening of Gasland at 7 pm. The showing is part of the Environmental Film Festival held annually in DC.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

First, the heavily subsidized commodity crop growers complained when the Department of Agriculture dared to send out encouraging messages about local and organic farming. Next, a coalition of Big Ag groups, including USA Rice and the Texas and Minnesota Corn Growers Associations, fired another salvo at organics, this time in an online broadside this week (March 1) that missed the mark by enough to become a self-inflicted wound.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How threatened is Agribiz by the baby steps the Department of Agriculture has taken recently in support of organic and local agriculture? Threatened enough that one big grower personally castigated USDA Undersecretary Katherine Merrigan last month at the department's Outlook Conference.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Not so long ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did a new life-cycle analysis of corn ethanol to see if the much-subsidized biofuel meets the standard Congress set in the 2007 Energy Bill for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Today (Feb 15th) may be the President's Day holiday, but for the president of the National Black Farmer's Association (NBFA) it's the culmination of a remarkable push to bring justice to thousands of black farmers and their families.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Trimming profit-ensuring farm subsidies to the largest growers of cotton, corn and rice continues to be a hot topic since president Obama announced his intentions to reform the wasteful programs. First in our roundup is this piece in the San Jose Mercury News where  subsidy recipient John Vidovich is holding onto the hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer assistance he so despises.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

The third in AgMag’s series of looks at the Obama budget is a hopeful one. First we examined attempts by the Administration to limit the taxpayer-funded payments that ensure profits for the wealthiest farm operations. That idea was instantly stonewalled by Minnesota’s powerful Congressional delegation, which has the Minneapolis City Pages fuming.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

 

By Craig Cox, Environmental Working Group Senior Vice-president and manager of EWG's Ames, Iowa, office. The debilitating cuts to US Department of Agriculture conservation programs proposed in President Obama's budget will do permanent damage to America's conservation efforts. These programs are critical to conserving and protecting  our soil, water and air.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

“The less we spend on food, the more we spend on health care,” author and food activist Michael Pollan said on Oprah. Today, Americans spend almost 20 cents of every dollar managing disease -- diabetes, allergies, asthma, cancer, obesity -- and only 10 cents of every dollar on food. The jury is still out on what exactly may be causing all these epidemics, but genetics don't change that quickly. The environment does. And increasing evidence points to the role that diet is playing in the onset of disease.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

 

By Craig Cox, Environmental Working Group Senior Vice President and manager of EWG’s Ames, Iowa, branch. On Wednesday (Feb. 3), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Rule, known as RFS 2, refusing to shift policy on one of the issues most contested by the ethanol industry, the “indirect land use change” rule.

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