Agriculture

FDA Considers Additional Food Labels
September 10, 2007 08:03 AM - Andrew Bridges -Associated Press

If an increasingly overweight America's eyes are bigger than its stomach, then placing more nutritional information in plain sight could allow shoppers to see their way to more healthy choices while scanning food labels.

More CO2, Plants Less Thirsty, Rivers Higher
September 9, 2007 12:15 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

University of Exeter, UK - Rising carbon dioxide levels will increase river levels in the future, according to a team of scientists from the Met Office Hadley Centre, the University of Exeter and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. The findings, published on 30 August 2007 in the journal Nature, suggest that increasing carbon dioxide will cause plants to extract less water from the soil, leaving more water to drain into rivers which will add to the river flow increases already expected due to climate change.

PBS Documentary: The Silence Of The Bees
September 9, 2007 10:52 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

NEW YORK, - From crop fields to hi-tech labs, scientists and bee experts are investigating a rapidly unfolding ecological nightmare. The Silence of the Bees premieres on Sunday, October 28 at 8 p.m. eastern on PBS (check local listings). Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham narrates the series. It was shot on high definition cameras. Honeybees are responsible for one of every three bites of food we eat. Each year, they pollinate $14 billion worth of crops and seeds in the U.S. alone. Their total decimation would be catastrophic from the local to the global level -- failed businesses, skyrocketing food prices, unsustainable labor costs, and depleted supplies of fruits, nuts, vegetables, plants, and more.

Monsanto Loses Spanish Court Case on Argentine GMO Soy
September 8, 2007 08:18 AM - Nicolas Misculin -Reuters

A Spanish court ruled against biotech giant Monsanto in its bid to make importers pay royalties on Argentina's genetically modified soy, company and government officials said on Thursday. Monsanto vowed to appeal the ruling. For about a year starting in mid-2005, the company held up shipments of Argentine soymeal at some European ports, filing lawsuits to try to enforce patents on its Roundup Ready gene technology in countries that buy Argentine soy products. Roundup Ready soy, which is genetically engineered to resist Roundup herbicide, was never patented in Argentina but is widely grown in the South American country -- the world's No. 3 soy exporter and its top supplier of soyoil and meal.

Seattle Grocery Store Earns LEED Gold
September 7, 2007 04:11 PM - , BuildingGreen

Redmond Washington - The Redmond, Washington, branch of Seattle-based PCC Natural Markets became the first grocery store to achieve a Gold certification in any of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating systems. The store, certified under LEED for Commercial Interiors, features 28 skylights that bring daylight into the store and reduce general lighting electricity use to an anticipated 0.21 watts/ft2 (2.25 W/m2), an 86% reduction compared with a base case building in minimal compliance with Washington State code requirements; electricity use for accent lighting is expected to be 37% lower than code.

Manure causes stink for lawmakers and farmers
September 7, 2007 06:32 AM - Christopher Doering

Manure generated on large U.S. livestock farms, which can later contaminate soil and water, has lead to a fierce debate over whether farmers and ranchers should be held responsible for cleaning up the mess.

Developing Nations 'Need Genetic Resources Rules'
September 6, 2007 05:36 PM - Hepeng Jia, Reuters, SciDevNet

BEIJING - To benefit from genetic resources, developing countries need to improve their governance, a meeting in Beijing was told this week. Developing countries are losing out because their laws do not specify which resources should be paid for and how, said Gurdial Singh Nijar, a law professor at the University of Malaya in Malaysia. He made his remarks at an international workshop on genetic resources and indigenous knowledge, supported by the UN Convention of Biological Diversity.

Watching Grass Grow Becomes Critical in Hunt For New Biofuels
September 6, 2007 07:18 AM - University of Cornell, Lauren Chambliss

Watching grass grow is not normally the most exciting activity -- unless the future of New York's energy needs, rural economic development and reducing the human contribution to global climate change depend on it.

China Launches Food Recall System
September 6, 2007 07:12 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ) has established a new recall system for food products produced or sold in the country. The regulation requires manufacturers to take the primary responsibility for recalling any problematic food items and to remove the products from the market within one week or less, depending on the severity of the associated health effects.

Fairbank Farms Recalls Beef Patties
September 6, 2007 06:56 AM - Associated Press

Fairbank Farms, a national company that sells ground beef, announced a recall Wednesday of 85 percent lean ground beef patties sold in Shaw's Supermarkets. The ground beef patties, sold fresh under the Shaw's label, could have been purchased by consumers in New England between about 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

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