Digest – News: Bad pot pies; DDT linked to breast cancer; yo, Mexico — quiere Taco Bell?

And the latest entry in the contaminated-food sweepstakes is…: ConAgra Foods' Banquet turkey and chicken pot pies. ConAgra is not recalling the pies, which may be linked to 139 cases of salmonella in 30 states, but is offering mail-in refunds and store returns. Mighty nice of them. (AP)

Now go apologize to Rachel Carson: A new study has found a significant link between women's exposure to DDT as young girls and the development of breast cancer later in life. The results could influence an ongoing controversy about the extent to which the chemical should still be used around the world. (Washington Post)

"It's like bringing ice to the Arctic": Taco Bell opens first restaurant in Mexico in 15 years. (AP)

Assault on battery cages: Animal-welfare groups are collecting signatures for a California ballot initiative that would give factory chickens slightly more room to roam. Opponents are claiming the sky will fall. (AP)

Oh no, Americans will have to spend 8.6% of their incomes on food: As an odd result of market forces, the price of organic milk is now only slightly higher than conventional milk, says the Galveston County Daily News. The Associated Press has a good overview on the forces behind the rise in food prices overall, covering China's economic boom, biofuels, and the weak U.S. dollar.

Bottled water is the new fur: Tap-water advocates are asking Oakland and other Bay Area municipal governments to dump bottled water in favor of old-fashioned tap water. (SF Chronicle)

"Fight for Your Right to Pâté": The struggle over foie gras in Philadelphia, where a group called, um, Hugs for Puppies is hounding chefs to stop serving it. Best punny title seen this week. (TIME)

U.S. looking to Japan for food security: The Japanese have developed tough approaches for ensuring the quality of Chinese imports, particularly food. But the innovation getting the most American attention is Japan’s system for screening Chinese producers even before the merchandise reaches Japan. (New York Times)

Off the rails: With a record corn crop in the fields or silos ready to be turned into ethanol, experts say that the fuel distribution system is not ready to handle the influx. 85% of U.S. gasoline factories can't handle rail cars (the most efficient way to move ethanol), many small ethanol plants aren't equipped to load rail cars anyway, and most new ethanol plants do not have on-site storage. (FarmPolicy.com)

Waiter, there's a "biotech event" in my beer: Greenpeace brews up contaminated-rice flap with Anheuser-Busch. (Brownfield Network)

Green Revolutionaries in waiting: The extra-special seeds called New Rices for Africa, or Nericas, were developed with financing from wealthy countries and private foundation. Although they are unpatented and may be grown by anyone, there's a severe shortage of them in the West African regions that need them most. It's a little odd that the miracle yields drop after a few years from being "cross contaminated" with traditional seeds, but we're all for seeds that have been bred — not genetically modified — to be drought tolerant and need less fertilizer. (New York Times)

The next hymn will be Title IV, Sec. 402-b: The anti-hunger group Bread for the World is planning to educate churchgoers about the Food and Farm Bill. Specifically, how the current policy is damaging rural America, increasing hunger in the developing world, and damaging our environment. (Tucson Citizen)

What about storing gum, though?: A new study posits that the appendix does serve a useful function in the human body — rebooting the digestive system in the extreme case that the good flora of bacteria in the intestines die or are purged, after amoebic dysentery, say. (AP)

Cheap U.S. beef imports threaten South Korean farmers (International Herald Tribune)

Japanese demand for organic product surpasses supply (All Headline News)

 

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