Agriculture

China launches Effort To Green Inner Mongolian Desert
October 16, 2007 04:00 PM -

Bejing, China - Beijing and Seoul recently signed an agreement to launch a joint program to harness China's eighth-largest desert - the Ulan Buh in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

About 15 million yuan (1.99 million U.S. dollars) will be spent growing trees and building greenhouses to prevent environmental deterioration in the Ulan Buh region, according to officials involved in the project.

Brazil urges Africa to join "biofuel revolution"
October 16, 2007 08:30 AM - Christian Tsoumou -Reuters

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has called on Africa to join the "biofuel revolution," saying it would help strengthen the world's poorest economies and fight global warming.

Speaking during an African tour, Lula said Brazil's experience with biofuels showed the environmental and economic benefits of mass producing ethanol and bio-diesel.

Scientists ramp up ability of poplar plants to disarm toxic pollutants
October 16, 2007 08:21 AM - University of Washington

Scientists since the early '90s have seen the potential for cleaning up contaminated sites by growing plants able to take up nasty groundwater pollutants through their roots. Then the plants break certain kinds of pollutants into harmless byproducts that the plants either incorporate into their roots, stems and leaves or release into the air.

Researchers Genetically Alter Plants Hoping They'll Vacuum Up Toxins
October 15, 2007 10:41 PM - Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Scientists hope they've figured out a way to trick plants into doing the dirty work of environmental cleanup, U.S. and British researchers said on Monday.

"Our work is in the beginning stages, but it holds great promise," said Sharon Doty, an assistant professor of forest resources at the University of Washington, whose study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In work they describe as preliminary, researchers at the University of Washington say they've genetically altered poplar trees to pull toxins out of contaminated ground water, perhaps offering a cost-effective way of cleaning up environmental pollutants.

Biofueling water problems
October 15, 2007 03:19 PM - Environmental Science and Technology

A new report from the U.S. National Research Council raises questions about the effects that homegrown fuels could have on water quality.

Schwarzenegger Vetoes Industrial Hemp Bill In California
October 15, 2007 08:04 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

SACRAMENTO, CA ­ Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 684, The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, yesterday evening, rejecting the will of the vast majority of Californians who supported the legislation. The landmark, bi-partisan legislation would have followed North Dakota in establishing guidelines for the farming of industrial hemp which is used in a wide variety of everyday consumer products, including food, body care, clothing, paper, and auto parts.

Illinois firm recalls beef patties on E.coli scare
October 14, 2007 09:21 PM -

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - J&B Meats Corp. is recalling 173,554 pounds (78.7 tonnes) of frozen ground beef products sold under "Topps" and "Sam's Choice" labels due to possible E. coli contamination, the U.S. government said this weekend.

The Coal Valley, Illinois-based company produced the patties in June and distributed them to retail stores nationwide, the U.S. Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service, or FSIS, said in a statement.

Most Land-Efficient Diet: Some Dairy, Less Meat
October 14, 2007 10:41 AM - Susan Lang, Cornell University

Ithica, New York - A low-fat vegetarian diet is very efficient in terms of how much land is needed to support it. But adding some dairy products and a limited amount of meat may actually increase this efficiency, Cornell researchers suggest.

This deduction stems from the findings of their new study, which concludes that if everyone in New York state followed a low-fat vegetarian diet, the state could directly support almost 50 percent more people, or about 32 percent of its population, agriculturally. With today's high-meat, high-dairy diet, the state is able to support directly only 22 percent of its population, say the researchers.

Green New Zealand to get Greener
October 14, 2007 10:02 AM - , Private Landowner Network

Al Gore and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were headline news Friday, October 12, 2007 for winning, and sharing, the Nobel Peace Prize. But for energy, greenhouse gases and climate change equally significant news came from about as far away from Nobel headquarters in Norway as you can get: New Zealand.

Process for Certifying Asian Catfish Aquaculture Products is Underway
October 12, 2007 12:08 PM -

WASHINGTON - Asian catfish aquaculture is moving toward sustainability. The catfish is a member of the "Pangasius" family. During the inaugural meeting of the Pangasius Aquaculture Dialogue, more than 70 producers, buyers, government officials and others from around the world agreed that there is an urgent need and willingness to certify pangasius aquaculture products.

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