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Concentration in the food industry not a concern, says new GAO report

In recent years, farmers have received an ever-decreasing share of the retail dollar, even during recent spikes in food prices. Some have argued that concentration in the food industry — the increase in the economic power of the largest firms — is the cause. Although it might be a factor, there are numerous...

If biotechnology won’t feed the world, what will? Knowledge, says GE expert Doug Gurian-Sherman

Earlier this week, I asked plant pathologist and molecular biologist Doug Gurian-Sherman to explain some of the science behind genetically engineered crops and their potential — or lack thereof — to feed a more populous, climate-changing world. Today, President Barack Obama is unveiling a $15 billion plan...

Meaty diet found to be heavier in flame retardant PBDEs

Free to be me and PBDE: Humans and many animals have become cocktails of chemicals, with a lifetime's "body burden" acquired from skin contact, breathing, drinking, and eating industrial materials. A newly released paper by researchers at Boston University investigates the role of diet in the body burden of...

South Dakota ponders potantial conflict of interest for university presidents

For sale: One ivory tower. Foundation needs replacing: A South Dakota state senator is pondering drafting legislation that would stop or limit university presidents in South Dakota from serving as highly paid board members for business corporations, like say, South Dakota State University President David...

“Biopesticides” are hot stuff

Sounds good — what's the catch?: Scientists are working on natural compounds and organisms called biopesticides that control agricultural pests and don’t have adverse health effects on people. Researchers at Michigan State University recently identified two new genes and two new enzymes in tomato plants...

Farmed fish have low levels of PCBs and other toxins

One win for aquaculture…some, anyway: Scientists from the Netherlands measured concentrations of several halogenated toxins in tilapia, pangasius, shrimp, salmon, trout, and shrimp that were farmed in several places around the world. Such toxins included Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine...

“The Failure of Science”: New paper makes a damning case against genetically modified food crops

"Doom and gloomers." That's what my father used to call people who talked about global warming not as a chance to work on their tans, but as something that ought to be keeping humankind up at night. He'd toss the newspaper aside, or change the subject at dinner. He still does, in fact. Fortunately much of...

More education leads to better, costlier diet, study finds

Educated people pay more: A new study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association confirms that people with better diets pay more per calorie than people with bad diets. More important, the study found that more education was a stronger indicator than income for eating a better diet....

Cow genome mapped

Cud you believe it?: Last week's news, but we missed it this article goes more in depth than our previous links, so…scientists have mapped the genome of the cow, and they can see "signatures of the human hand" in its development. Sheep and goats were domesticated earlier, but cattle are the most prevalent...

Transgenic seeds are toast(ed): New report says GE crops have not increased yield

Couched deep within the earth-mother rhetoric of a recent Monsanto ad (which you can also see on the back cover of the current New Yorker issue, a $100K-plus ad buy) is a bold claim: Providing abundant and accessible food means putting the latest science-based tools in farmers' hands, including advanced...

While we were sleeping: Score one for the GMO lobby

Updated at 3:10 pacific to include the full language of the relevant section of the bill. Thanks, IM. Things have been busy around here lately, but that's no excuse. We've just been reminded that, like time, Monsanto stops for no man. Yesterday, eliciting not a ripple from the blogosphere, the Senate...

Digest – News: Anti-biotics, working for the (corporate) man, and the price of obesity

More squealing from the porkers: The National Pork Producers Council objects to federal legislation introduced Tuesday by Rep. Louise Slaughter (no pun intended, really), the only microbiologist in the U.S. Congress, that would restrict the use of medically-important antibiotics in livestock production....

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