Digest – News & Commentary: Outbreak continues, black pols and farmers mad, new milk marketing


Hoof and mouth update: A third farm may have an outbreak, and health inspectors are looking into the possibility that the disease was originally transferred by employees at the nearby vaccine manufacturer. The Economist looks at how vaccines can prevent an epidemic, but also may have caused this one.

USDA gets black eye: Barack Obama wrote a letter to AgSec Johanns calling for an investigation into the USDA’s employees’ lobbying against pending legislation that would allow black farmers to file claims of past discrimination; the Government Executive reports that the USDA has opened an inquiry. A big hand to Mulch for breaking the story.

Milking a new market: A few ordinary cows produce milk that contains just one major protein, unlike most milk, which contains a mix of different types. Some claim this "A2 milk," which is now available in the U.S., tastes better and is healthier (Washington Post)

Willie chew the right thing?: Farm Aid plans to serve 100% "local, organic, humanely raised and family-farmed food" at its New York City concert Sept. 9. Some on the sponsors list have us scratching our heads, though. (OCA News)

Canada has slaughterhouse shortage too: Closure of Atlantic Canada’s only beef processing plant could be devastating to hard-hit industry. (The Amherst Daily News, Nova Scotia)

Wal-Mart go home!: Several hundred Indian shopkeepers gathered in Old Delhi to protest the prospect Wal-Mart’s back-door entry into the Indian market. (New York Times)

FDA takes action against Iowa dairy for antibiotic residues found in cows (FDA.gov)

Poll shows Canadians willing to pay more for better food safety (Canada.com)

60-mile-long fishing lines to be allowed off California coast for first time (SF Chronicle)


starThe last Farm Bill editorial you need to read before Senate debate starts: John Nichols explains the truly frustrating thing about the House’s version of the five-year, $286 billion piece of legislation — that "this complicated mess of a measure cannot be easily hailed or condemned." (The Nation)

Let’s pick on the print newspapers: Yes, we’re glad to see the mainstream media (you can call them the MSM) ever more frequently covering "eco" issues around food. But this review of Grille Zone, a new "green" hamburger joint in Boston, gets it half right, dispensing pats for compost recycling, biodegradeable flatware, and energy-efficient grill. What about the most eco-conscious choice of all: does it serve grass-fed beef? The reporter fails to say. (Boston Globe)

Fairly up-to-date archives of all the Digest entries can be found here.


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