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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...

Can biotechnology ‘feed the world’? Not likely, says genetic engineering expert Doug Gurian-Sherman

With food shortages provoking riots in recent years, and the world’s population increasing exponentially, Congress will soon be debating the next big U.S. aid package for developing countries. America currently spends about $2.5 billion on food aid, most of it to buy surplus U.S.-grown commodity grains to...

Critiquing the Obamas’ first harvest: symbols vs. policy

Seeds of change at White House still germinating: Thoughtful piece asking food movement heavyweights (Ferd Hofner of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and yes, the ubiquitous Mr. P) whether the Obama Administration has been more talk than action over healthy food policy, with the White House...

Special Digest, rumor version: Mike Taylor to Join FDA

Another round for the revolving door: Rumor has it that Mike Taylor, currently a professor at George Washington University but better known for his work as Monsanto’s Vice President for Public Policy, will start on Monday at the FDA in a position coordinating food safety. Congress is considering a major...

Grow for it: A message about food from the president

In 1945, during the fourth year of America's direct involvement in World War II, President Harry Truman issued a proclamation about food. He called for those on the home front to plant larger victory gardens, to preserve more food, and to minimize food waste. This proclamation came after years of propaganda...

Time to get tray serious: Get involved with a Child Nutrition Act campaign now

School’s out for the summer, but there’s a food fight going on in the cafeteria. In Washington, Congress is turning up the heat on the policies that determine what 30 million children will eat once the lunch bell rings. Want hormones out of kid’s milk? Pesticides off the tomatoes? Local lettuce in the salad...

Food safety sweep

House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Henry Waxman certainly had his ducks in a row today, as a sweeping food safety bill, H.R. 2749, passed unanimously out of the committee. (CQ Politics and Reuters; thanks, Naomi!) There will be lots more analysis in the coming days, but here's what we've gathered...

Michelle Obama links WH garden to child nutrition programs and healthcare reform

Give peas a chance: An event for schoolkids in the First Lady's Garden marked a change in tone for Michelle Obama, from fun-filled photo op to homework. "This gorgeous, bountiful garden has given us a chance to not just have some fun…but to shed some light on the important food and nutrition issues that we...

Tobacco companies were hobbled, now Big Food companies need to be

Those who ignore history are doomed to re-eat it: Civil Eats managing editor Paula Crossfield connects the dots that show how America is a slave of Big Food much as it once was to Big Tobacco. The alarm bells are ringing — obesity rates, contaminated food, spiraling healthcare. "It is time to regulate Big...

California to shut its Food and Ag Department?

Now really doesn't seem like a good time: Amidst California’s scramble to close its $20 billion deficit, California Senator Dean Florez, chair of the California Senate’s Food and Agriculture Committee, is suggesting perhaps the state should shutter its Department of Food and Agriculture. On June 16, the ...

Big Food vs. Mother Nature

Money can't buy you cheap oil again: FoE Tom Laskawy has a nice overview of Big Food's recent desperate-seeming lobbying efforts, before launching into how the one threat Big Food hasn't proven itself very adept at handling is "the multiheaded hydra of climate change, drought, and the shrinking supplies of...

Ann Wright named Deputy Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at USDA

All Wright!!!: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has appointed Ann Wright as Deputy Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at USDA. Before serving as senior policy advisor to Majority Leader Harry Reid on issues before the Senate Agriculture Committee, she was a policy analyst for Consumers...

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