Congress passed a nearly trillion-dollar omnibus Farm Bill Tuesday after almost three years of debate that one analyst called "fairly epic." This major piece of legislation, which is generally under-covered by the mainstream media, sets farm and food policy for the next five years.
Despite a full-court press defending the supposed benefits of genetically engineered "golden rice," it has never entered production. According to Jonathan Latham of Independent Science News, the science media has utterly failed to report accurately on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) -- on their failures and criticisms rather than just their potential successes. A transgenic high-protein cassava, a type of starchy edible root, was lauded in the scientific press but fizzled not long after. So did a supposedly virus-resistant sweet potato that was widely hailed in the media. According to Jonathan Latham of Independent Science News, these and others are just a few examples of what he says is the utter failure of the science media to report accurately and critically on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) -- on their failures rather than just their touted successes.
Prions -- the infectious, deformed proteins that cause chronic wasting disease in deer -- can be taken up by plants such as alfalfa, corn and tomatoes, according to new research from the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison.
My friend Jim, a farmer, jokes about bringing a bowl of manure and a spoon to the farmers' markets where he sells his beef. "My beef has no manure in it, but you can add some," he'd like to tell his customers.
I'm sure you'd pass on manure as a condiment. But unless you're a vegetarian or you slaughter your own meat, you may have eaten it. And if the USDA moves forward with its plan to make a pilot program for meat inspection more widespread, this problem can only get worse.
Across the United States, the majority of states allow legal sales of raw, or unpasteurized, milk in one form or another, whether retail, on the farm, or via "herd share" arrangements. A growing number of Wisconsin citizens would like to add this state to that list once and for all.
"The vitamin D in your milk ... is almost surely a derivative -- after many chemical stages -- from lanolin from Australian sheep wool, concocted in a factory in China. ... Vitamin A, is often synthesized from acetone, a principal ingredient in nail polish remover," notes George Kenney based on his interview with Melanie Warner, a former writer for the New York Times.
You might use nanotechnology in the sunscreens you squirt or lather on your kids. You might lick your lips and taste it in your favorite lip-gloss. You might even eat it in your Jell-O pudding. But is it safe?
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have sparked concerns about potential human health effects and confirmed environmental effects. Chipotle has 1,450 restaurants as of June 2013 and $2.7 billion in annual revenue, so the labeling is no small potatoes.