Digest – Commentary: Bee very worried, be Frank, be safe

Take that, you Luddites: In the wake of news that a virus may be to blame for colony collapse disorder in bees, the Gray Lady says that finger-pointing of cellphones and genetically modified crops is a sign of how freaked out we are, "not only about the death of creatures both benign and beneficial to us, but also about technology’s effect on our world. (New York Times)

starOrganic farmer fights back: Great op-ed from the wonderfully named Florida farmer Frank Oakes — "I must say I have always hated the word 'organic.' Even more, I hate how preposterous it is that we have to name our practices anything other than farming." (Naples News)

"Biosecurity is a myth": Peter Melchett argues that "we should do what we can to take precautions against diseases, and to keep food safe. But just as important, we should be helping crops and farm animals to be healthy enough to resist disease." (The Guardian)

Ripe for fraud: "Organic, Inc." author Sam Fromartz examines what, if anything, the USDA's get-tough stance on the misbehaving Aurora dairy means for the organic industry. He suggests that Aurora's founders, "who have been in the organic dairy business since the early 1990s … made a calculated bid to game the system while building a fast-growing, venture-backed organic dairy business, only correcting things once the action got too hot." (Rocky Mountain News)

Rural regrowth: Concluding Harris newspapers' excellent series project examining farm bill subsidies and their effect on rural Kansas, an editorial argues that lawmakers should embrace the idea of reasonable caps on subsidies, then push for the budget savings instead to go into rural economic development programs. Rural development is allocated just $456 million in the House-passed farm bill, compared with $42 billion for subsidies. (Hutchinson News Online)

National Urban League comments on the Food and Farm Bill (Louisiana Weekly)

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