Digest – News: Scary wheat fungus spreading, food prices climbing, don’t blame the soda (right)

When it grains it pours: A dangerous new fungus with the ability to destroy entire wheat fields has been detected in Iran, says the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. Up to 80% of all Asian and African wheat varieties are susceptible to the fungus, which can be transmitted across continents by wind. (UN News Centre; thanks Jack & CookieJill)

Victory gardens needed: Government figures just released show that nearly every category of food staples has increased in the last year. Eggs have jumped the highest, increasing 25% since February 2007 and 62% in the last two years, thanks to skyrocketing feed costs. (New York Times) Related: Parke Wilde has an interesting angle on whether fruits and vegetables are rising even faster.

Sodium benzoate cleared, sorta: The European Union’s food safety watchdog has concluded that the evidence linking food additives to kid hyperactivity is weak. (Reuters)

Absence labeling makes the heart grow wonder: Ohio won’t ban "hormone-free" milk labels, just require that they include prominent wording saying the FDA has found "no difference" in milk produced with Monsanto’s drug. (Ohio.com)

Give saccharine the sack: More on a recent study suggesting that, "just as artificial sweeteners trick our taste buds and satisfy our sweet tooth, they may confuse other systems involved in assessing calorie intake and controlling appetite." (Los Angeles Times)

Hey! Why is my red T-bone rotten?: Target is partnering with Hormel Foods and Cargill to label meat treated with carbon monoxide. The labels will not say they’ve been gassed, but simply warn, "Color is not an accurate indicator of freshness. Refer to use or freeze by [date]." (Wichita Business Journal) Related: Read our coverage of the AMI’s meat-gassing video.

Follow the salmoney: Fingers are pointing, trying to figure out what happened to this year’s fall Chinook salmon run. Possible culprits: mismanagement of the Sacramento River and oceanic climate changes. (New York Times)

Glass still half full: Vermont has squashed a bill that would have allowed farmers to sell unlimited quantities of unpasteurized milk, instead of the current 25 gallons per day. (Times Argus)

Don’t make Momma get up off the couch: Research confirms that diets heavy in fat and high-fructose corn syrup may damage the liver quickly. (Food Consumer)

Label is half empty, eh?: Critics says a "Product of Canada" label should mean more than that 51% of production costs were incurred in Canada. (London Free Press)

An ounce of prevention: Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced a bill that would more severely punish meat packing plants for sending sick animals to slaughter. (Orange County Register)

Families sue Chiquita for financing leftist killings of 5 men (New York Times)

Two Canadian people tested for mad-cow illness (Canada.com)

Swarm of bees closes California highway after truck flips over (NPR)

Arsenic found in children’s organic juice bottled in U.S. and sold in Canada (Canada.com)

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