• Scientists ramp up ability of poplar plants to disarm toxic pollutants

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Researchers Genetically Alter Plants Hoping They'll Vacuum Up Toxins

    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.

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  • Biofueling water problems

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

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  • Schwarzenegger Vetoes Industrial Hemp Bill In California

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Illinois firm recalls beef patties on E.coli scare

    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.

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  • Most Land-Efficient Diet: Some Dairy, Less Meat

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Green New Zealand to get Greener

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Scientists create flood-resistant rice

    Farmers should soon have access to a new strain of flood-resistant rice, say scientists.

    The development was discussed at the 3rd steering committee meeting of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Hanoi, Vietnam last week (8–9 October).

    A large portion of Asian rice land is located in deltas and low-lying areas that are at risk from flooding during the monsoon season, and climate change intensifies these risks, said Reiner Wassmann, coordinator of the Rice and Climate Change Consortium of IRRI.

    Crop scientists estimate that annual flooding leads to losses worth US$1 billion across south and South-East Asia.

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  • Process for Certifying Asian Catfish Aquaculture Products is Underway

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Worldwatch Perspective: Can Biofuels Make or Break Iowa’s Future?

    A report profiling the impact of the current biofuels boom in the U.S. state of Iowa and painting a more sustainable path forward for the biofuels industry was released Tuesday in the state capital, Des Moines. The report, Destination Iowa: Getting to a Sustainable Biofuels Future, is a joint project of the Worldwatch Institute and the Sierra Club. It examines the implications of biofuel development for Iowa’s economy and environment as well as for climate change. >> Read the Full Article