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Nation's Largest Retailers Accused of Organic Fraud
December 13, 2007 06:28 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Seattle - In a scandal now ensnaring some of the nations leading retailers, a series of lawsuits have been filed accusing Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, Safeway, and Wild Oats of consumer fraud for marketing suspect organic milk.
The legal filings in federal courts in Seattle, Denver, and in Minneapolis, against the retailers, come on the heels of class action lawsuits against Aurora Dairy Corporation, based in Boulder, Colorado. The suits against Aurora and the grocery chains allege consumer fraud, negligence, and unjust enrichment concerning the sale of organic milk. This past April, Aurora officials received a notice from the USDA detailing multiple and "willful" violations of federal organic law that were found by federal investigators.
Lice from fish farms threaten Canadian wild salmon
December 13, 2007 05:13 PM - Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Infestations of sea lice at salmon farms on Canada's west coast are threatening local wild pink salmon populations and could result in their extinction in another four years, Canadian researchers said on Thursday.
Scientists uncover how plants invaded the land, learned to survive heat, drought
December 13, 2007 04:21 PM - UC Berkeley Newswire
Berkeley -- Some 400 million years ago, on a lifeless lakeshore lapped by waves, floating algae learned to survive in the open air and launched an invasion that transformed the Earth into a green paradise. The secrets of these first steps onto land are now being revealed thanks to the sequencing of a modern descendent of these first land dwellers, a dainty moss called Physcomitrella patens that sprouts on recently exposed shorelines, quickly fruits, and then dies.
Indonesian man dies from bird flu
December 13, 2007 03:44 PM - Reuters
Runizar Roesin, head of the bird flu centre in Jakarta, told Reuters the 47-year-old man from Tangerang died on Thursday evening.
Asian desert dust found over western United States
December 13, 2007 01:14 PM - Vince Stricherz, University of Washington Newswire
Seattle, Washington - It has been a decade since University of Washington scientists first pinpointed specific instances of air pollution, including Gobi Desert dust, traversing the Pacific Ocean and adding to the mix of atmospheric pollution already present along the West Coast of North America.
Now a UW researcher is finding that dust from the Gobi and Taklimakan deserts in China and Mongolia is routinely present in the air over the western United States during spring months. "We are interested in Asian dust that comes across the Pacific because particles can have an impact on health, as well as on visibility," said Emily Fischer, a UW doctoral student in atmospheric sciences.
China and Mexico team up to fight wheat disease
December 13, 2007 12:46 PM - Arturo Barba, SciDevNet
MEXICO CITY - Two agricultural research organisations have agreed to collaborate on research to combat wheat diseases and develop climate change-resistant wheat varieties using traditional methods of breeding.The agreement, between the Mexico-based International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, was signed last week.
Managing manure in California
December 12, 2007 05:32 PM - Alec Rosenberg, UC Merced Newswire
Merced, California - A partnership between agricultural leaders and UC Merced aims to help California farmers maintain the environment and the economy.
California is the nation's leading dairy state, generating $5.2 billion in milk and cream sales a year. While that keeps the state's 1.7 million dairy cows busy making milk, they also produce plenty of manure. The manure is filled with nutrients that farmers can use as fertilizer, but it also can pollute the environment.
China takes U.S. to task on currency, food safety
December 12, 2007 06:53 AM - By Glenn Somerville and Eadie Chen, Reuters
XIANGHE, China (Reuters) - An assertive China fended off U.S. pressure over currency policy and food safety on Wednesday and told Washington to put its own house in order rather than blame Beijing for its economic problems.
Australia's PM hands over Kyoto papers in Bali
December 12, 2007 01:31 AM - By Supriyatin, Reuters
NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) - Australia's new prime minister handed over documents ratifying the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations in Bali on Wednesday and said his own country was already suffering from global warming.
Shell seeks to make diesel fuel from algae
December 11, 2007 05:34 AM - Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell is to fund a project that aims to produce transport fuel from algae, as biofuel production from palm oil and crops are increasingly criticized for causing deforestation and higher food prices.
Oil major Shell said on Tuesday it would build a pilot facility in Hawaii to grow marine algae from which it would extract vegetable oil that would be converted into a form of diesel for use in trucks and cars.