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AgMag BLOG

Feeding your mind, saving the planet >>

The Latest from AgMag

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When the corn ethanol lobby is fighting to defend its trifecta of government subsidies, it routinely rolls out its favorite “level playing field” talking point.

Key Issues: 
Friday, May 20, 2011

One year ago, President Obama signed an executive order directing the federal government to take the lead in the faltering effort to control the pollution fouling Chesapeake Bay. The President said he would do everything he can to protect the Bay and wildlife habitats in the region, and the public took heart that the Bay’s long decline might finally be reversed.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A federal judge granted preliminary approval on May 13th of the $1.25 billion settlement for black farmers for decades of discrimination at the hands of the US Department of Agriculture. President Obama signed the funding legislation for the settlement in a White House ceremony on December 8th.

Key Issues: 
Monday, May 16, 2011

On Friday (May 13), Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook blew the whistle on the agri-chemical lobby's months-long effort to get the government to put the industry's spin on the upcoming annual report on pesticide residues on fresh produce.

Friday, May 13, 2011

When industry lobbyists want the government to do something the public won’t like, they usually go about it quietly.  Not so for the produce and pesticide lobby.

 
Monday, May 9, 2011

For thirty years, the corn ethanol industry has relied on the federal government’s muscle to force expanded production and availability of its fuel. The most recent favor handed to the industry was the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to increase the amount of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, May 5, 2011

When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) succumbed to the corn ethanol industry’s demands in January and approved the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol in newer vehicles, it glossed over the troubling results of emissions tests on cars burning the new fuel formulation.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Food prices and food scarcity are quickly becoming the hidden driver in world politics, says pioneering environmental analyst Lester Brown, sparking political upheaval in the Middle East and threatening the stability of other developing countries.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Every year, taxpayers send billions to farm businesses to cover the cost of implementing conservation practices that help keep the soil on the land and limit the runoff of dirt and agricultural chemicals from their fields into rivers and streams.

Key Issues: 
Monday, April 18, 2011

Leading lawn care products maker Scotts Miracle-Gro brought smiles to the faces of many Chesapeake Bay advocates last month with its announcement that it will eliminate phosphorus from its fertilizers. By 2012, all Scotts lawn maintenance fertilizers sold in the United States will be free of phosphorus, a nutrient turned persistent pollutant that is crippling the bay’s ecosystem. Scott said its phosphorus-free lawn food will yield the same green lawns at the same cost as current products.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bad federal policy and intensifying storms are washing away the rich dark soils in the Midwest that made this country an agricultural powerhouse and that remain the essential foundation of a healthy and sustainable food system in the future.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

When Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) spoke to the Organic Trade Association's Washington Policy Conference the other day, her talk had two parts: the part where she left the distinct impression that she had no idea whom she was talking to, and the part where it seemed she didn't care.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Proposals by the corn ethanol industry to have taxpayers subsidize construction of huge pipelines and specialized gasoline pumps and car engines designed to use large amounts of its product could cost taxpayers more than $9 billion – including increased consumer costs and federal funding of grants and assurances of loan guarantees – and would lock the nation into energy policies that are neither economically nor environmentally viable.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Coalitions often help bring about real change for the public good.  Not this one though.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

That some members of Congress are farmers is hardly new. Many of the Founding Fathers worked the land. But as the industrial age transformed America’s agrarian society and technology made it possible for fewer farmers to grow more crops on more land, the number of lawmakers actively engaged in agriculture dropped sharply.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Craig Cox, Environmental Working Group senior vice-president wrote the following op-ed in today’s (March 25) Des Moines Register. Cox manages EWG’s agriculture programs from our Ames, IA office.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lobbyists for the corn-ethanol and the “advanced” biofuels industry had a meeting yesterday (March 21) organized by the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development to “discuss opportunities to find common ground and synchronize biofuels industry policy,” according to a news report.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Federal nutritional guidelines advise us to eat five-to-nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. That’s not too difficult if you are lucky enough to have access to the fresh and tasty produce grown in Northern California, where I live.

But many folks in this region and in the rest of the country aren’t so lucky.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Two weeks ago in this space, my colleague Sheila Karpf called out the five largest commodity crop organizations over the glaring lack of women in leadership positions on their boards. Her impetus was agribusiness’ new effort to polish its tarnished brand by enlisting women in a PR effort called CommonGround.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Three leading environmental groups say they’re hauling Chicago’s sewer system and the Environmental Protection Agency into court over the pollution that pours out of the city, down the Mississippi and eventually to the Gulf of Mexico, helping to grow the perennial “Dead Zone.”

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