40 acres and a runaround: Last week, the USDA kicked out government auditors who came to check in on the government's settlement in a discrimination case brought by black farmers. This excellent Daily Yonder piece has the background on that shameful discrimination, as well as the role that presidential candidate Barack Obama is playing now in shining a light on the ongoing scandal.
Here come the superbugs … maybe: University of Arizona entomologists have documented the first case of superbugs — some bollworms have evolved resistance to a Bt toxin produced by Monsanto transgenic cotton, brand name Bollgard. But heed Salon.com writer Andrew Leonard's amusing warning: "Before we all go running into the streets, shrieking and rending our garments at the emergence of this long-awaited and long-feared genetically modified-induced insect mutation sure to ruin all of global agriculture, there are some mitigating circumstances to consider." OK — shriek! — but this just proves farmers don't make great lab techs. (How the World Works)
: Michael Pollan was guestblogging for Amazon's Omnivoracious blog in support of his book tour. He says that much has changed in the last two years since his tour for "The Omnivore's Dilemma" now the food movement has strong roots in places like Indianapolis — "cities in the farm belt where you would not expect criticism of the corn industrial complex, or the virtues of local food, to find much support." (Thanks, Lyrical Robot!)
Back to the roots of organic: OrangeClouds115 chats with Harry MacCormack, a longtime organic farmer who in 1984 wrote the Standards and Guidelines for Organic Agriculture. (Golden Apple Press)