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AgMag BLOG

Feeding your mind, saving the planet >>

The Latest from AgMag

Thursday, May 27, 2010

On April 23, the Environmental Working Group’s Rebecca Sutton, PhD, submitted a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency articulating EWG’s support for the Agency's proposed pollution controls. Her letter also urged the EPA to step up its efforts to combat one of the biggest threats to the bay — phosphorous and nitrogen runoff from agriculture — as it goes forward with regulatory and enforcement strategies.

Key Issues: 
Monday, May 24, 2010

There is increasing attention on the restriction of access to government records on taxpayer funded farm subsidies reported by the Environmental Working Group. 74 percent of payments administered by the US Department of Agriculture from 1995-2009 go to the top ten percent of the largest and wealthiest farm operations.

Key Issues: 
Friday, May 14, 2010

The Environmental Working Group has worked hard to track the billions lavished on the wealthiest and largest farm operations in the country, in the hope that releasing the information would spur public demand for a sane and sensible agriculture policy.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Environmental Working Group’s updated Farm Subsidy Database, released May 5, chronicles where federal farm subsidy dollars have gone from 1995 through 2009, revealing the true impact of farm programs and showing who really benefits from the billions in farm subsidies U.S. taxpayers pay out each year.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, May 6, 2010

Environmental Working Group Senior Analyst Kari Hamerschlag used EWG's new farm subsidy database to take a deep, critical look at the subsidy system in California. She found (pdf) that although cotton and rice constitute a tiny portion of California’s nation-leading farm production, those two crops – rather than the state’s vast harvest of fruits and vegetables – continue to get the lion’s share of federal farm subsidies in the state.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, May 5, 2010

By Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook

Washington paid out a quarter of a trillion dollars in federal farm subsidies between 1995 and 2009, but to characterize the programs as either a "big government" bailout or another form of welfare would be manifestly unfair – to bailouts and welfare.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's too early to tell what the Tea Party movement's impact will be on the November elections, but there's no doubt that their noisy anti-big government message has barged into the nation's political conversation in a big way. So don't you think it's odd that Tea Party candidates have had so little to say about one area of wasteful spending that all limited government advocates should be able to agree on -- the farm subsidy programs administered by the US Department of Agriculture?

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In the three months since assuming the chairmanship of the Chesapeake Executive Council, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson has directed several encouraging new initiatives.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

For years the Environmental Working Group has advocated for a more rational farm policy that would provide a better safety net for more American farmers. We've done this while also seeking to promote ecological sustainability and reduce perverse incentives that lead to environmental degradation.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

On several counts, a recent Rochester Institute of Technology study ( March 29) hailed by the corn ethanol lobby falls short of bringing reliable science to the ethanol blend debate. With a glut of ethanol on their hands, the ethanol industry hopes to increase the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline by 50 percent.

Key Issues: 
Monday, April 12, 2010

The surest way to ensure that second-generation advanced biofuels remain in their test tubes and never see the spark of an engine is to pass a piece of legislation recently introduced (Feb. 14) by Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa).

Key Issues: 
Friday, April 9, 2010

If you’ve ever wished that one day there would be a place where you could grab a bacon and cheese pileup with no veggies, smashed between slabs of fried chicken instead of buns, here’s good news.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

This week (April 6), US officials struck a deal aimed at staving off Brazilian trade retaliation for subsidies paid to American cotton growers. Brazil had won the right  to impose tariffs and lift patent protections on $829 million in U.S. goods in a 2009 World Trade Organization ruling that the cotton subsidies and export credit guarantees violated global trade rules.

Key Issues: 
Monday, April 5, 2010

Finally, our climate change champions in the U.S. Senate are defending the long-suffering natural gas industry from the latest round of ridiculously burdensome drinking water protections.  From what we hear the Senate’s draft climate bill may call for no regulation of the industry under the Safe Drinking Water Act.  It’s about time.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Environmental Working Group will join other watchdog groups in monitoring the San Francisco Public Utility Commission’s (SFPUC) controversial management of sewage sludge. EWG President Ken Cook said that advocacy organizations have been right to oppose the distribution of composted sewage sludge from the SFPUC for use on Bay Area gardens and farmland.

Key Issues: 
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.

Key Issues: 
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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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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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.

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