State Government

Dam-building project means switch to water from Calaveras Reservoir for San Francisco area; customers note foul smell, moldy taste caused by Aphanizomenon, an algae

By Peter Fimrite

San Francisco Chronicle 2011-11-02

As Alabama immigration law takes effect, farm, construction workers flee; farmer sees only 8 of 48 Hispanic workers she needed for tomato harvest show up

By Phillip Rawls

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2011-10-05

Georgia projected to take $391 million hit, shed 3,260 jobs this year because of farm labor shortages; farmers complain about immigration law that scared farm workers

By Jeremy Redmon and Daniel Malloy

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2011-10-04

Texas drought focuses researchers' warning that planners must incorporate vast water requirements of all energy production - except for that derived from wind

By Kate Galbraith

The New York Times 2011-09-18

EPA allows Florida to classify some waterways as no longer appropriate for fishing, swimming

By Craig Pittman

The Times (St. Peterburg, FL) 2011-09-14

NJ superfund site - one of nation's most toxic - on bank of Raritan river remains submerged after Irene; benzene-laden tar balls found beyond site's barriers

By Salvador Rizzo and Christopher Baxter

The Star-Ledger 2011-09-07

As Texas faces worst single-year drought ever and drinking wells fail, natural gas industry has unlimited water use; fracking taints water, removing it from hydrologic cycle

By Josh Harkinson

Mother Jones 2011-09-01

Drastic decline in Chesapeake Bay oyster population can only be halted by banning any fishing for them, study reports

By Darryl Fears

The Washington Post 2011-09-01

States' burden of obesity-related medical costs ranges from $203 million for Nevada to $15 billion per year in California, illustrating burden on health care system, analysts say

By Rachael Rettner

MSNBC 2011-08-23

As Texas ag commissioner, Rick Perry championed pesticides, torpedoed regulations, earning support from chemical lobby that paved his path to political success

By Jeremy P. Jacobs

Greenwire; The New York Times 2011-08-19

After wildfires, tainted soil being removed near Los Alamos National Laboratory over concern that PCBs could wash into Rio Grande, source of drinking water for New Mexico

By Dennis J. Carroll

Reuters 2011-07-12

Along Texas border, 45,000 live with no running water and have poor diet intrinsically linked to poverty, contributing to dental problems, diabetes, other chronic conditions

By Emily Ramshaw

The New York Times 2011-07-09

Virginia enables Omega Protein, Inc., to order overfishing of menhaden, a staple for marine food chain - and ingredient in livestock feed, dietary supplements, paints, cosmetics

By Alison Fairbrother and Randy Fertel

Gilt Taste 2011-07-06

Pollution from lawns, sewers affecting Barnegat Bay, NJ's main breeding grounds for fish, clams and crabs, and threatens state's $35.5 billion tourism-based economy

By Wayne Parry

The Associated Press; The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-06-28

Many migrant farm workers seem to be skipping Georgia in anticipation of harsh new immigration law; state's $1.1-billion fruit-and-vegetable industry could lose $300 million

The Economist 2011-06-16

Opinion: In IA, FL, MN, purpose of bills that make undercover investigations in factory farms a crime is to hide those conditions from a public that thinks about the way food is produced

The editors

The New York Times 2011-04-26

One-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary sodas, other such drinks would return $233 per student to California classrooms, fund childhood obesity prevention initiatives, advocates say

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen

Contra Costa Times; Mercury News (San Jose, CA) 2011-04-20

Texas lawmakers target junk food, sugary soda, food stamps limits to cut obesity; diet-related disease costs state businesses $9.5 billion a year in lost worker productivity

By Chuck Lindell

The Statesman (Austin, TX) 2011-04-19

As national attention is focused on GOP efforts to roll back clean air, water laws, similar battles under way in states, from Everglades to watershed that supplies drinking water to NJ

By Leslie Kaufman

The New York Times 2011-04-15

Economic impact of agriculture industry in DE about $8 billion annually, when factoring in money spent by workers and including food processing, forestry activities, ag services, study shows

By Aaron Nathans

The News Journal (Wilmington, DE) 2011-03-24

Two firms agree to shut down fracking wastewater disposal wells near fault in Arkansas; geologists see correlation between use of wells to state's many earthquakes since last fall

By Campbell Robertson

The New York Times 2011-03-04

Two bills show debate over how to manage declining aquifers in Texas, where irrigated agriculture is political force that pits conservation-minded officials against water sellers

By Kate Galbraith

The Texas Tribune 2011-03-04

Texas lawmakers introduce bills on Gulf Coast oysters, venison sales, soda in schools, winery sales and tours, raw milk sales and home delivery, naming hamburger the state sandwich

By Aman Batheja

Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, TX) 2011-02-28

Ian's on State Street, a pizza parlor near Wisconsin capitol, fields callers from 14 countries, all 50 states and D.C. looking to donate money to provide pizza to those at protest

By Meredith Shiner

Politico 2011-02-21

Farmers, school and health care representatives unite behind bill that would provide grants for farm to school and gardening programs and raise lunch funding to buy Oregon products

By Jennifer Colton

Hermiston Herald (OR) 2011-02-09

Connecticut governor sees hope in agriculture, local products; upping such sales 4 percent would generate another $600 million a year for state farmers

By Ken Dixon

Connecticut Post 2011-01-16

New York state agencies following policy urging them to avoid products, equipment containing any of 85 toxic chemicals whenever safer, cost-effective options available

By Olga Naidenko

Environmental Working Group 2011-01-01

Vermont officials issue 10-year strategic plan for increasing economic development and creating jobs in food, farm sector and increasing access to healthy local foods

Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund 2011-01-12

In California, some poor families choose between traditional public school with school lunches or charter versions, with smaller classes, more enrichment - but maybe no lunch

By Mary MacVean and Alexandra Zavis

Los Angeles Times 2011-01-01

Michigan agrees to stagger delivery of food stamp benefits throughout month after relentless campaign by grocers and federal thwarting of twice-monthly delivery plan in 2008

By Catherine Jun

The Detroit News 2010-12-30

Farmers cry foul over new route for high-speed rail that would cleave through California's prime cropland and nut and fruit groves, splitting fields, disrupting irrigation systems

By Rich Connell

Los Angeles Times 2010-12-27

Judge rules Nevada can take $62 million from Clean Water Coalition to cover budget deficit; funds from sewer linking fees once were for defunct wastewater pipeline project

By Ed Vogel

Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV) 2010-12-22

California appeals court upholds farmer's right to sue pesticide applicator in case of pesticide drift that contaminated organic dill; $1 million award stands as well

By Kurtis Alexander

Santa Cruz Sentinel 2010-12-22

Opinion: Despite money woes, anti-obesity programs for children aren't place to cut; obesity now costs Texas businesses $3.3 billion annually and will rise to $15.8 billion by 2025

The editors

San Antonio Express (TX) 2010-12-14

Citing human health and national security, California governor stands with regulators who OK process that pays owners of power plants, refineries, other polluters to cut emissions

By Jason Dearen

The Associated Press; Los Angeles Times 2010-12-17

Opinion: Farms, mills and municipalities that use Florida waterways as a latrine learn that latest battle to stop enforcement of federal pollution laws will be paid for by state taxpayers

By Carl Hiaasen

The Miami Herald 2010-12-11

Deer hunters in Pennsylvania expected to donate about 100,000 pounds of venison to help meet surging demand of hungry; food banks appreciate lean, high-quality protein

By Jon Hurdle

Reuters 2010-12-06

California strawberry growers granted permission to use methyl iodide, a pesticide listed by state as known cancer-causing chemical as fumigant to kill bacteria, weeds, insects

By Kelly Zito

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-12-02

Analysis: Voters stay course on California's nation-leading green-economy march; law will engage businesses, government and individuals with rules that will touch everyday life

By Joel Makower

Greener World Media; Reuters 2010-11-03

Washington state voters repeal Initiative 1107, which taxed soda, candy, gum, bottled water and certain processed foods

By Tracy Ellis (Bellingham, WA) 2010-11-03

With mounting deer-vehicle collisions in Illinois, officials attempt to keep tally by requiring motorists to call if they're planning to harvest meat

By Steve Schmadeke

Chicago Tribune 2010-10-20

Nathalie Dupree, prominent Charleston chef, TV show host and cookbook author, challenges Republican Sen. Jim DeMint with sudden write-in candidacy

By Lois Romano

The Washington Post 2010-09-30

California-sponsored program greatly reduces salmonella in hen houses but adds pennies to egg costs; regulatory confusion, public's desire for cheap eggs undermine safety efforts

By P.J. Huffstutter

Los Angeles Times 2010-09-01

Ohio ag chief says farm animal care accord brokered by state's agricultural interests, Humane Society through governor is "non-binding"

Feedstuffs 2010-08-26

Slaughterhouse that would kill 16,000 hogs daily divides Illinois community over environment, odors, lowered property values, hundreds of jobs, $16 million in tax breaks

By Monica Eng

Chicago Tribune 2010-08-16

Citing seasonal nature of work and perishable crops, California governor sides with farmers and vetoes farmworkers overtime bill

By Marisa Lagos

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-07-29

California's patchwork regulatory efforts leave drinking water tainted by nitrates, the byproduct of nitrogen-based fertilizer, manure, wastewater treatment plants, septic tanks

By Julia Scott

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-05-17

Sodexo agrees to pay $20 million over claims that it pocketed rebates from big food firms rather than returning them to public school clients

By Eileen Buckley

WBFO-88.7 2010-07-21

California boosts enforcement of rules for $1.1 billion organic industry in effort to catch those looking to skip costly, lengthy certification

By Robin Hindery

The Associated Press; Los Angeles Times 2010-07-09

Opinion: Requiring animals, including animals that produce or become food, to be treated decently while alive ennobles animals and us

By Adam Cohen

Time magazine 2010-07-14

Officials quarantine beef cattle on Pennsylvania farm after waste water from fracked gas well leaked into their pasture

By Nicholas Kusnetz

ProPublica 2010-07-02

Comedian pokes fun after Iowa lawmaker suggests cleaning oil leak with beer-making equipment, corn cobs, "microscopic things" that eat oil and produce methane

By Jennifer Jacobs

The Des Moines Register 2010-06-12

In effort to prevent overfishing, extinction of sharks, Hawaii bans shark fins

By Audrey McAvoy

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2010-05-28

Radioactive water from oldest US nuclear plant reaches NJ drinking water aquifer; pipe leaks were found days after plant granted new 20-year license in 2009

By Wayne Parry

The Associated Press; The Philadelphia Inquirer 2010-05-07

Air, water, soil and health problems linked to industrial farms where cows, pigs, chickens confined in close quarters, journalist writes in "Animal Factory"

By Claire Suddath

Time magazine 2010-04-23

Blog: Denver schoolchildren, communities plant seeds of change in school cafeteria

By Rebecca Jones

InDenver 2010-03-18

Opinion: Tax junk food to provide school health education under Michigan Model for healthier kids, savings in medical costs

By Lotus Yu

Detroit Free Press 2010-04-05

Maryland, to protect species whose ranks have declined by 99 percent, plays tense game of hide-and-seek with watermen who catch oysters illegally

By David A. Fahrenthold

The Washington Post 2010-03-23

Michigan governor's proclamation for one-day "meatout" riles livestock industry, lobbyists who blame philosophies of "food elitists"

By Dawson Bell

Detroit Free Press 2010-03-17

New Jersey-financed school breakfasts among measures proposed in budget that relies almost exclusively on spending cuts

By David M. Halbfinger

The New York Times 2010-03-17

Alaska begins aerial hunt to kill 185 wolves - 80 percent of population - on Yukon border so 46,500 caribou are available for hunters to shoot

By Leslie Kaufman

The New York Times 2010-03-17

Illinois moves to phase out use of perchloroethylene, a dry-cleaning solvent that tainted drinking water in community for 20-plus years

By Michael Hawthorne

Chicago Tribune 2010-03-14

Again, Maryland's powerful alcohol lobby likely to quash attempts to add dime-per-serving tax to restore funding of care for poor, mentally ill

By Aaron C. Davis

The Washington Post 2010-03-12

Deal to save Everglades more about benefits for U.S. Sugar after state officials make decisions against needs of Everglades, taxpayers

By Don Van Natta Jr. and Damien Cave

The New York Times 2010-03-07

After advocates switch from animal welfare to invasive species argument, California decides to ban importing of non-native turtles, frogs for food

By Carla Hall

Los Angeles Times 2010-03-04

Opinion: Starbucks should pay attention to thousands signing petitions against allowing gun-flaunting customers in its stores

The editors

The New York Times 2010-02-20

As fracking in oil, gas drilling continues, complaints of tainted drinking water build; Ohio bill would tighten rules

By Michael Scott

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 2010-02-14

California county food stamps program allows homeless, disabled and elderly participants to buy fast food

By Vanessa Romo

Marketplace 2010-02-17

Virginia legislators table bill that would require retailers to charge 5 cents for paper or plastic bags

The Roanoke Times (VA) 2010-02-09

New York must pay farmer's legal fees after challenging him on workers' houses he was building, court rules

By Danny Hakim

The New York Times 2010-02-03

Aramark-run Capitol Café, where Pennsylvania's political elite eat, struggles with continuing unsanitary conditions

By Suzette Parmley and Amy Worden

The Philadelphia Inquirer 2010-01-28

To balance budget, Colorado governor targets tax exemption for junk food that would bring in $3.5 million this year, $18 million next year

By Steven K. Paulson

The Associated Press; Business Week 2010-01-28

Opinion: Raising alcohol tax would close Maryland's budget shortfall, improve services and save lives by cutting liquor consumption

The editors

The Washington Post 2010-01-29

Opinion: Cracking down on junk food that children use to supplement or replace school lunches is a no-brainer step in right direction

The editors

The Boston Globe 2010-01-28

Massachusetts lawmakers propose bill to improve school meals and creation of gubernatorial panel on childhood obesity

By Kyle Cheney

Statehouse News Service; The Dedham Transcript (MA) 2010-01-25

Citing obesity, diabetes rates of suburban D.C. county, Maryland lawmaker wants moratorium on fast-food eateries

By Ovetta Wiggins

The Washington Post 2010-01-26

Grouper protection during spawning season rankles S.C. fishermen; chefs turn to imports from Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama

By Monique Newton

The State (Columbia, S.C.) 2010-01-26

Graphic video inspires NY lawmaker to propose banning tail-docking for dairy cows

By Mary Esch

The Associated Press; Forbes 2010-01-26

Iowa officials contemplate banning, limiting potent alcoholic beverage

By William Petroski

The Des Moines Register 2010-01-25

Indiana senator proposes local-grown foods bill that could enrich state economy

By Seth Slabaugh

The Star Press (Muncie, IN) 2010-01-18

Other states lure California poultry producers unhappy with strict new animal treatment law

By Lauren Etter

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-01-13

Opinion: Asian carp threat cause for concern, not panic

The editors

Chicago Tribune 2010-01-05

Michigan sues to protect lake from invasive species, Chicago's water diversion

By Kari Lydersen

The Washington Post 2009-12-27

California's $11.1 billion bond allows private firms to own, profit from publicly funded water-storage projects

By Wyatt Buchanan

San Francisco Chronicle 2009-12-27

Dwindling supplies take local seafood off menus in San Francisco

By Katherine Ellison

The New York Times 2009-12-11

Drought drops California water allocation to record lows

Three years of drought drops California grower-shippers and municipal water districts 2010 water allocations to 5 percent of contracted water deliveries. But news might not be so dire; before 2009 water delivery season ended, precipitation permitted allocation increase to 40 percent. Lettuce plantings along west side of the San Joaquin Valley were about 5,000 acres, down from more than 30,000 acres just a few years ago, because of drought. And: California's new water policy includes $11-billion bond measure, groundwater monitoring, conservation plan (click 'See also').

By Don Schrack

The Packer 2009-12-03

See also 

Opinion: Defeat Issue 2, Ohio's flawed response to proposed livestock cage ban

Issue 2, with its notion of industry-dominated council supposedly regulating treatment of farm animals, is poor public policy, and should be defeated. Ohio Constitution should never be used to promote interests of specific individuals, businesses, or industries. Reasonable approach is to work out compromise in state law that would protect both farmers and farm animals. And: What's not needed is radical change, written into state Constitution either by farm lobby or by animal-rights groups unconcerned whether they end up driving farmers out of business (click 'See also').

The editors

The Toledo Blade 2009-10-28

See also 

Two-month operation nets moonshine, misdemeanor charges

Two-month operation nets moonshine, misdemeanor charges

North Carolina agents seize 926 gallons of moonshine worth about $35 a gallon, charge resident with several misdemeanors after two-month surveillance operation. If found guilty, suspect could be liable for taxes. Moonshine was mostly in glass quart jars, but part of it was in 20-liter plastic containers; most jars also contained peaches, strawberries or other fruit. And: Virginia's anti-moonshine unit a victim of budget cuts (click 'See also'), just as reports of stills slightly increase. Much of whiskey unit's work involved staking out stills in hopes that operator would show up. Virginia moonshine costs about $20 a gallon.

By Jule Hubbard

Wilkes Journal-Patriot (NC) 2009-10-08

See also 

River pollution suit against Tyson, Cargill, may affect meat prices

Oklahoma's pollution lawsuit against Tyson, Cargill, others in Arkansas poultry industry begins in Tulsa on Sept. 24 is being closely watched by industry. At issue is practice of spreading chicken waste on fields in Illinois River watershed, which state say caused runoff that polluted river. Industry says Arkansas, Oklahoma sanctioned practice by issuing farmers permits to spread waste. And: Oklahoma Attorney General asks if Big Poultry owns birds, feed, drugs (click 'See also'), doesn't it own chicken litter, too? If poultry companies lose the case, industry spokesperson says U.S.-raised meat prices will go up.

By Justin Juozapavicius

The Associated Press; Duluth News Tribune 2009-09-20

See also 

Food processors' waste taints water, environment

In west Michigan, untreated wastewater from processors has tainted drinking water, streams, killing aquatic life and nearby trees. State officials have known of polluting for 10 years; residents say they're bearing costs - stench, orange fingernails, useless gardens, failed businesses, ruined plumbing, fear of eventual ills from tap water. Officials say there's no acute health threat. Review found probes have dragged out for years. Companies denied responsibility, failed to meet cleanup deadlines, violated law with leaks, spills, illegal dumping of fruit waste. Agriculture made more than $63 billion last year; food processing firms employ thousands. (Click 'See also' for part 2.)

By Tina Lam

Detroit Free Press 2009-08-09

See also 

Citing water scarcity, wheat farmers sue to stop industrial feedlot

Washington state dryland wheat farmers sue to stop nearby industrial feedlot, citing water scarcity. Easterday Ranches Inc., cattle feedlot would pen up to 30,000 head of cattle, using a stock-watering exemption in law to pump up to 600,000 gallons a day. Until state reversed its position in 2005 (click 'See also'), laws required permit for groundwater use to protect people who already have wells and to protect streams that are connected to or replenished by groundwater.

By Richard Roesler

The Spokesman Review (WA) 2009-06-30

See also 

California resumes review of chemical for strawberry fields

California pesticide regulators resume review of methyl iodide for strawberry fields. Carcinogen OK'd for use in every state except California, Washington, New York. Federal law requires growers to set up buffer zones, prohibits workers from entering field for 48 hours after methyl iodide is applied, but critics worry about safety of those living or working near the plots. And: In Mississippi's delta, Roundup drift, from crop-dust pilots or ground-level applicators, can damage off-target crops, trees, gardens (click 'See also').

By Amy Littlefield

Los Angeles Times 2009-08-03

See also 

NJ schools get extra funds for signing poor children up for lunch

New Jersey public schools scramble to sign poor students up for free or reduced-price lunch; new funding formula matches lunch participation with eligibility for additional $5,000 per student in supplemental tutoring. Idea is that children who qualify for free meals have greater educational needs overall. And: In June, unemployment figures reached 14.3 percent in Newark and 18.4 percent in Trenton (click 'See also').

By Ashley Milne-Tyte

Marketplace 2009-08-18

See also 

Physician forced out after disparaging doughnut chain's product

Florida health department physician fighting 'controversial' one-man war against obesity resigns under fire after county commissioner and lawyers who own doughnut stores take offense at signs that parody its slogan - 'America Runs on Dunkin.'' He is reapplying for his job. In 2007, 39 percent of all adults were overweight; one in four was considered obese in his Gulf Coast area of practice.

By Melissa Nelson

The Associated Press; Houston Chronicle (TX) 2009-08-13

In scramble for funds, Illinois taxes candy, soda - with exceptions

In scramble for funds, Illinois demotes candy, soft drinks from tax-free food group. But lawmakers carved gaping exception - sweets containing flour (Twizzlers, Butterfinger Stixx) aren't legally deemed to be candy. Critic says tax logic is becoming increasingly inconsistent - in New York, Ovaltine gets sales-tax exemption but not Tang. Iowa officials were forced by public protests to rescind decision that exempted pumpkins sold for pies but not those sold for jack-o'-lanterns. And: Test your knowledge of what USDA considers junk food in schools (click 'See also').

By Ameet Sachdev and Bob Secter

Chicago Tribune 2009-08-02

See also 

Dry-cleaning chemicals taint drinking water, soil

Often sloppy use of dry-cleaning chemicals, primarily perchloroethylene, poisoned soil, drinking water at hundreds of sites in Illinois but decades later, cleanup efforts lag. Residents are exposed to to perc by drinking tainted water or showering in it, playing in polluted dirt and breathing vapors. And: Lawsuit filed by cancer victim says feds knowingly exposed hundreds of thousands of Marines, sailors, their family members, civilians to drinking water tainted with dry-cleaning solvents, industrial sources at Camp Lejeune (click 'See also').

By Michael Hawthorne

Chicago Tribune 2009-07-26

See also 

Reduced fertility in farmed salmon may undermine wild stocks

Hatchery programs for all salmon species could be reducing fish fertility, thus contributing to demise of salmon runs in California, Oregon and Washington, study suggests. On average, offspring of two hatchery-reared steelhead were only 37 percent as reproductively fit as fish whose parents were both wild, says researcher. Forty million hatchery-raised salmon are released into California river systems every year. And: Herring population that spawns in San Francisco Bay now at lowest level in 30 years (click 'See also')

By Peter Fimrite

San Francisco Chronicle 2009-07-05

See also 

At Lake Mead, low-water mark to trigger pipeline vote

If Lake Mead level drops below 1,075 low-water mark, Nevada board will vote on whether to build 300-mile, $3.5 billion pipeline. Lake Mead provides 90 percent of water for Las Vegas. Same elevation on Colorado River will force Nevada, Arizona to reduce water drawn from there. And: With warming weather, Colorado River users will face frequent shortages, study shows; river now provides one-third of Arizona's water (click 'See also').

By Henry Brean

Las Vegas Review-Journal 2009-06-01

See also 

Colorado OKs limited rainwater capture

Colorado legalizes some precipitation capture from roofs, a practice long considered stealing from those owning water downstream. And: 300,000 beneficiaries now are stewards of public water supply. If resource used responsibly, it could be substituted for some of what is currently being sucked from oversubscribed aquifers, streams, says columnist (click 'See also').

By Jeff Brady

National Public Radio/Morning Edition 2009-06-01

See also 

Proposed BPA ban advances in California senate

California Senate OKs proposal that would ban use of bisphenol A in food containers, as well as baby bottles, toddler sippy cups. Independent studies have linked BPA to brain development problems and behavioral troubles in young children, early onset of puberty, several cancers. And: FDA says it will review its earlier OK of BPA in baby bottles, food containers (click 'See also').

By Eric Bailey

Los Angeles Times 2009-06-03

See also 

Billionaire farmer controls majority of California water bank

Stewart Resnick, billionaire pistachio and almond farmer, controls private water company that has 48 percent stake in state-developed Kern Water Bank. It's a vast underground reservoir that gathers water from Kern River, California Aqueduct and Friant-Kern Canal in wet years, then sells it during drought. Another 10 percent of water bank is owned by local water district whose board president also is president of the farmer's company, Paramount Farms. And: Who owns water (click 'See also')?

By Mike Taugher

Tri-Valley Herald (Oakland, CA) 2009-05-25

See also 

California lacks infrastructure, culture for water conservation

California government pushes water conservation, but lack of residential meters, decades of flat-rate billing, and state, federal projects that have ensured water flow to farms and cities have contributed to culture of water abundance. Fresno residents use around 290 gallons of water per person per day; national average is 100 gallons per day.

By Sasha Khokha

National Public Radio/Morning Edition; KQED 2009-05-26

Calls grow for groundwater regulation in California

California faces growing pressure to regulate groundwater. Critics say refusal could prove catastrophic to state's $36 billion agricultural economy as well as to real estate. Advisory agency recommends regulating groundwater pumping statewide. Issuing emergency drought declaration in February, governor asked local governments and water districts for data on groundwater supplies.

By Felicity Barringer

The New York TImes 2009-05-14

Nevada deer population down, but other numbers up

Nevada wildlife agency recommends fewer mule deer hunting permits after population declines from drought, habitat loss. Cow and bull elk and bighorn sheep populations are increasing; pronghorn antelope numbers reach record high; agency recommends more hunting tags in all categories.

By Sandra Chereb

The Associated Press; San Jose Mercury News 2009-05-10

Opinion: Getting used to water restrictions in Florida

Years of watering our lawns at will, turning on our taps without a second thought, insufficient planning during times of runaway growth have left Florida thirsty. Engaging South Floridians to conserve dwindling resources is critical priority; water restrictions are part of strategy. It's time residents, cities they live in, come to terms with drought.

The editors

South Florida Sun Sentinel 2009-05-10

Database links farms, businesses in South Carolina

Database links farms, businesses in South Carolina


South Carolina joins a dozen states with its S.C. MarketMaker (click 'See also'), an online database that connects businesses along the food supply chain, from farmers and fishermen to distributors, retailers and restaurants. Effort will help put food of local farmers/producers on residents' plates.

The Associated Press; The State (Columbia, S.C.) 2009-04-29

See also 

Biotech milk hormone effort vetoed in Kansas

Kansas governor vetoes milk disclaimer labeling bill, citing overwhelming opposition by consumer groups, small producers, retailers who want to know which milk is from cows untreated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBST). Kathleen Sibelius, Obama pick for HHS, also cites patchwork labeling requirements, state to state, that would cost too much.

By Beth Martino

Office of the Governor, Kansas 2009-04-23

See also 

Opinion: Third try on Everglades, U.S. Sugar deal much improved

Revamped Florida-U.S. Sugar plan is reasonable compromise and good start on building reservoirs to protect from flood, drought and to clean up agricultural runoff that threatens wildlife, Everglades. Company gets partnership with state, subsidies. And: Current plan would buy 72,500 acres for $530 million, with option to buy the rest by 2019 (click 'See also').

The editors

The Miami Herald 2009-04-12

See also 

Opinion: Siphoning spectacular profits from Florida's aquifers

Despite water shortage, Florida state water managers allow Nestle, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and the like to siphon and bottle nearly two billion gallons annually from fresh springs, aquifers for puny fee, then sell it for a huge per-unit profit. Although agriculture draws billions of gallons from the same sources, few ranches or farms enjoy spectacular profits that water bottlers do. And: Bottling cash in Florida (click 'See also').

By Carl Hiaasen

The Miami Herald 2009-03-08

See also 

Unemployment checks disqualify some Californians for food stamps

Some middle-class California families struck by layoffs, unforgiving economy find their unemployment checks plus property disqualify them for food stamps, other benefits. Los Angeles County reports increases in denials for emergency benefits.

By Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Los Angeles Times 2009-03-26

Florida lawmaker looks to streamline food safety plans

Florida lawmaker proposes bill that would transfer food service safety duties to Department of Agriculture and would expand stringent food safety standards to crops beyond tomatoes. Ideally, says Carey Baker, who plans run for agriculture post, state's produce would carry a bar code to identify its growing, packing history. And: Law would require online availability of farm inspection reports (click 'See also').

By James A. Jones Jr.

Bradenton Herald (FL) 2009-03-20

See also 

Michigan's salmonella response tab may reach $1 million

Peanut-product salmonella outbreak has already cost Michigan $425,000 and may reach $1 million. State does not receive federal reimbursement for food-recall expenses. Recall efforts include ensuring product removal from marketplace, collecting and testing products. CDC reports nine deaths, 691 salmonella infections. Recalls of items made with peanuts from Peanut Corporation of America's plants in Georgia and Texas: 3,488.

By Megha Satyanarayana

Detroit Free Press 2009-03-18

In tomato capital of nation, modern slavery

In Florida's Immokalee tomato fields, slavery, squalid living conditions are symptoms of system that exploits immigrants so supermarkets can sell winter tomatoes and fast-food outlets can add them to sandwiches. In 12 years, officials have freed 1,000-plus workers.

By Barry Estabrook

Gourmet magazine 2009-03-01

Minnesota food sleuths tops at tracking pathogens

State's leadership in tracing food-borne illness comes from complex culture of teamwork: health and food investigators who work side-by-side; strong consumer protection laws; good facilities and resources; and experienced investigators who interview patients, trace products and draw linkages. And: FDA updates on salmonella outbreak, and recalls, by the scores (click 'See also').

By Tom Webb

Pioneer Press 2009-02-18

See also 

Economic slump hits agricultural extension services

Missouri governor restores two-thirds of proposed cuts to state's extension offices. Cuts to University of Missouri and Lincoln University programs will be made carefully to protect eligibility for federal matching funds. And: Governor's proposed cut to Michigan State University compounded by proposal to combine university's extension services, experimental stations and halve combined budget (click 'See also'). Extension services disseminate research, expertise on health, agriculture, wellness, food safety.

By Georgina Gustin

St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2009-02-12

See also 

Water diversion threatens salmon, main food source for orcas

Extinction threat to spring-run chinook salmon and winter-run chinook salmon from pumping water out of Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta threatens 83 orcas' existence - they depend on salmon for food. Findings, in draft report, could garner support for environmental protection. And: Earlier, water flow to cities, farms cut to avert ecological collapses of water crossroads (click 'See also').

By Mike Taugher

The Mercury News (CA) 2009-02-13

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Food bank distributes state-donated fish, unaware of state mercury alert

Idaho food bank gave away thousands of pounds of lake trout, whitefish caught in Lake Pend Oreille donated by state wildlife agency at same time another agency warned of mercury contamination in fish caught there. Giveaway offers tough choice, says activist: Go hungry, or take mercury-tainted fish that can be dangerous to long-term health of children. And: New York's advisories on fish consumption (click 'See also').

By John Miller

The Associated Press; Bonner County Daily Bee 2009-01-28

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State finds spiked organic fertilizer, then keeps it secret

After California officials catch organic fertilizer maker spiking its fish-chicken feather brew with synthetic - therefore banned - fertilizer in June 2004, they waited until January 2007 to require that company remove product from market, then kept findings secret for nearly a year and a half longer, records show. Some of state's largest organic farms - Earthbound, Driscoll's - were among customers. And: USDA probes delay; disciplinary action possible (click 'See also').

By Jim Downing

The Sacramento Bee 2008-12-28

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Analysis: Details crucial in healthful living campaign

Short on funds, New York governor turns call for change into anti-obesity measures: Soft drink tax, posting calorie counts in chain restaurants, adding markets to poor neighborhoods, banning junk food in schools. Professor says proposals take health care outside of medical sector and are way of cost-shifting that doesn't recognize obstacles - no sidewalks, time deprivation.

By Anemona Hartocollis

The New York Times 2009-01-11

In New Jersey, a rise in requests for food stamps, other aid

As unemployment in New Jersey reaches 6.1 percent, state sees food stamp applications double and 40 percent rise in number of people seeking welfare over one year. State distributes about 58 percent of its food stamp allotment; cumbersome application process blamed. And: $22.5 million aid plan OK'd in December included $3 million for NJ food pantries (click 'See also').

By Susan K. Livio

The Star-Ledger (NJ) 2009-01-04

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Drought, environmental dilemmas feed California's water woes

Arguing that human needs for water, needs of delta smelt, other fish, waterfowl and rare plants are 'co-equal' goals, advisory panel urges new canal system for Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the main water source for 25 million Californians. And: Third year of drought likely for state with $30-billion-a-year agricultural industry that grows more than half of nation's fruits, vegetables, nuts (click 'See also').

By Kelly Zito

San Francisco Chronicle 2009-01-03

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Opinion: Backbone needed for true Chesapeake cleanup

After 25-year, $6 billion failed effort, it's clear: Saving the Chesapeake requires political will to regulate farm runoff, institute and enforce wastewater limits, limit crab and oyster catches and mandate green-building techniques. And: Budget shortages, bureaucratic inertia, political opposition blocked progress (click 'See also').

The editors

The Washington Post 2009-01-02

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In New Jersey, a rise in requests for food stamps, other aid

As unemployment in New Jersey reaches 6.1 percent, state sees food stamp applications double and 40 percent rise in number of people seeking welfare over one year. State distributes about 58 percent of its food stamp allotment; cumbersome application process blamed. And: $22.5 million aid plan OK'd in December included $3 million for NJ food pantries (click 'See also').

By Susan K. Livio

The Star-Ledger (NJ) 2009-01-04

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Minnesota gets lead out of hunters' donated venison

Minnesota X-rays venison bound for community food pantries after finding that 5.3 percent of venison sampled contained lead fragments from bullets. Funding comes from $160,000 appropriated by legislature, an increase in nonresident hunting license fees, hunter donations.

By Doug Smith

Star Tribune (MN) 2008-12-19

Opinion: Soda tax, universally adapted, could make us healthier

Diabetes epidemic costs $218 billion each year -- $1,900 per household - and contributes to deaths of 200,000-plus Americans, so risky behavior includes extra-large sodas. New York's proposed 18 percent tax on soft drinks could help make us healthier, just as cigarette tax has lowered lung cancer rates. Nutrition specialist says cola industry will spend vast sums fighting proposed tax. And: How food industry discredits critics (click 'See also').

By Nicholas D. Kristof

The New York Times 2008-12-18

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Texas distributes food, water after Hurricane Ike

Hurricane survivors wait for food, drinking water as Texas attempts cleanup after catastrophe. Galveston official worries about disease; residents have no electricity, running water or working toilets. In Houston, residents told to boil water; those in need were to receive two packages of ready-to-eat meals, two boxes of bottled water and bag of ice.

By P.J. Huffstutter and David Zucchino

Los Angeles Times 2008-09-15

Overweight Alabama state workers face higher insurance

Overweight, obese who work for state of Alabama given a year to lose weight or face higher health insurance costs. And: Because medical costs are higher for the obese and premiums don't depend on weight, lighter people in same pool pay for food/exercise decisions of obese, says USDA (click 'See also').

By Nancy Yamada

WBIR 2008-08-23

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As economy slows, sales of alcohol go up in Iowa

As economy struggles, wine, liquor and beer sales rise in Iowa. Treasury gathered $87.6 million for the 12 months ending June 30, up 3.7 percent from year earlier. Most of the money went to general fund, for education, environmental protection, welfare and public safety; 16 percent goes to substance abuse programs.

By William Petroski

The Des Moines Register 2008-08-04

Potato chip makers agree to reduce carcinogen in products

Potato chip producers agree to reduce carcinogen - acrylamide - in their chips over three years and pay penalties to settle California lawsuit. Accord means a 20 percent cut for Frito-Lay products, 87 percent cut for Kettle Chips, and warning label on Cape Cod Robust Russets. And: FDA tells home cooks to reduce chemical by not over-browning potatoes (click 'See also').

By Bob Egelko

San Francisco Chronicle 2008-08-02

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Health regulators push against raw milk movement

As popularity of raw milk grows, state regulators fine small dairies for minor violations, obtain search warrants and push for restrictive laws. FDA backs the efforts but CDC reports show that about 59 people became ill from raw milk each year, compared to 14 million who contract other food-borne illnesses each year. And: Undercover agents entrap dairy farmers (click 'See also').

By David E. Gumpert

The Nation. 2008-03-05

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Outcry after heat death of grape farm worker

Outcry after heat death of grape farm worker

Jocelyn Sherman/UFW

Maria Jimenez, 17.

With nearest water cooler a 10-minute walk away, undocumented and pregnant grape field worker in California collapses and later dies of heat exhaustion. Governor promises justice. State has most stringent heat laws in U.S., requiring water, shade and rest breaks. In 2007, more than half of employers audited were violating rules; 200 inspectors are responsible for auditing millions of employers.

By Sasha Khokha

KQED; National Public Radio 2008-06-06

Free breakfasts too expensive

Budget cuts doom program to provide free morning meals to Florida children attending schools where many students come from low-income households. The universal breakfast plan could have cost the state an estimated $9 million to $11 million annually.

By Dwayne Robinson

The Palm Beach Post 2008-04-23

Labeling clones and GMO foods

Tennessee legislature considers bill that would require labeling and public notice for any meat or milk from cloned animals, or for any genetically altered or modified foods or ingredients for human consumption. If passed, law would take effect in January, 2009.

Tennessee General Assembly 2008-04-11

School lunch bill stalls

South Carolina legislature kills bill that would have banned soft drinks, high-fat foods and minimally nutritious snacks from school lunches and campus vending machines. Sticking point was money: Some schools make as much as $70,000 annually from vending machine sales; refreshment stand fare sold at five home games made another school $13,000.

By Gina Smith

The State (SC) 2008-04-09

Battle over rBST

After Ohio revises milk label rule to say that if Kroger (and other retailers) have claims about non-use of Monsanto's synthetic hormone rBST, they must also include: "the FDA's determination that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-supplemented and non-rBST-supplemented cows." The drug, which increases milk production in cows, is not registered for use in Canada.

By Stepfanie Romine

The Enquirer (OH) 2008-03-26

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Linking supply, demand

Following lead of nearly a dozen other states, Indiana launches website that links buyers - from chefs to baby-food makers to locavores - to more than 150 nearby farmers and agricultural businesses. Site goals include strengthening local economies and providing transparency of food supply. To explore the site, click 'See also.'

By Shari Rudavsky

The Indianopolis Star 2008-04-01

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Truth in syrup

For maple syrup taster, protecting the Vermont name is his game, and, as the son of a maple sugar buyer, Henry Marckres has been honing his palate for 50 of his 53 years. With diabetes, he keeps his sips small, follows them with water, and monitors his blood sugar levels.

By John Curran

The Associated Press; San Francisco Chronicle 2008-03-21

Opinion: Alabama's silk purse bill

Bill before Alabama legislature falsely cloaks industrial hog farming in noble notion of preserving family farms. This bill, first introduced in 2001, needs to define a family farm, clarify the responsibilities and rights of all in dealing with farm byproducts and remove the clause that would discourage citizens from going to court with their grievances.

The editors

The Anniston Star 2008-03-11

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Making local school lunches easier

Washington state passes 'Local Farms - Healthy Kids' bill, reducing obstacles for schools to buy locally grown food and supporting farmers at the same time. The law also will provide technical assistance for new programs.

Washington State Legislature 2008-03-11

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Customers vs. dairy farmers

Utah considers banning labels that mark dairy products as free from artificial growth hormones. Dairy farmers want the ban, but milk processors say that customers want information. Representative from biotech firm Monsanto, which makes the artificial hormone, rBST, commends Utah at public hearing. The drug is injected into cows to increase milk yields.

By Dawn House

The Salt Lake Tribune 2008-02-26

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Garden State cutbacks?

In budget-cutting move, New Jersey governor proposes shutting down the Garden State's department of agriculture, along with those of commerce and personnel. Other agencies would absorb responsibilities. State's rising costs for pension and health care benefits have contributed to its nearly 10 percent deficit, placing it third behind Arizona (16 percent) and California (15 percent).

By David W. Chen

The New York Times 2008-02-27

Local considerations

New Mexico legislation would help fund farm-to-school link and put more fresh, local foods on children's lunch trays; facilitate food distribution system for low-income and rural communities; and help fund farmers' market purchases by low-income seniors.

By Staci Matlock

The New Mexican 2008-01-31

Labels for GMO?

Hawaii senator introduces bills that would require labels for genetically engineered foods (mostly papaya, squash and sweet corn) and notification for such crops and their locations. With more than 4,000 permits for genetically engineered testing issued to Monsanto, Syngenta and Dow, among others, the state is becoming one of the primary centers, worldwide, for biotech research and development.

By Nina Wu

Honolulu Star Bulletin 2008-01-26

Cautionary steps

Newly diagnosed diabetic legislator vows to encourage more healthful school lunches and increased exercise for students. But state superintendent says Alabama's schools rank fourth highest in U.S. in healthy food initiatives. Lawmaker's announcement coincided with the state's weight-loss campaign, Scale Back Alabama.

By Dana Beyerle and The Associated Press

Tuscaloosa News 2008-01-04

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Forging connections

Ambitious legislation in Washington state would create beginnings of infrastructure for linking locally grown foods to schools, universities and prisons. Some worry that lawmakers will dicker over definition of "local" and balk at request to provide free lunch to students who qualify for reduced-price lunches.

By Jennifer Langston

Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) 2008-01-09

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Preventing obesity

With $140 million in annual medical costs attributed to adult obesity in state, Vermont governor proposes adding a prevention specialist to each of the 12 regional health departments. Also proposed: a funding increase of $300,000 for prevention grants to communities.

By Nancy Remsen

Burlington Free Press (VT) 2008-01-03

Local lunch

Fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables for Washington state's poorest school cafeterias is aim of new bill proposed by consortium of 22 environmental groups. New law, if passed, would reduce red tape and help fund local purchases, and other money would help develop network of farmers.

By Christopher Dunagan

Kitsap Sun (WA) 2008-01-02

Opinion: Rich future

As voting in Mississippi nears, editors say that future of agriculture, a $6 billion segment of state's economy, must expand past trees and row crops to organic vegetables and high-end organic dairy, and also should include in-state processing.

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 2007-10-21

Raw controversy

Raw controversy

After North Carolina decides to dye raw milk gray to discourage human consumption, a legislator begins work on a bill that would halt the plan; new bill would follow one that would legalize dairy shares, which allow customers to buy part ownership in a milk-producing animal so they can have raw milk.

By Suzanne Nelson

The Independent Weekly (NC) 2007-10-31

OK to eat?

Under new rule before governor in Arkansas, food distributors and retailers, not state, will pay costs of testing imported foods for safety; the state health director can order testing according to USDA standards and violators can be fined.

By Peggy Harris

The Associated Press; Houston Chronicle (TX) 2007-11-01

Ready to cook

To butcher donated venison for Minnesota's food pantries, Minnesota legislature sets aside $160,000 and raises price of non-resident hunting license $5; hunters can also keep their deer but donate $1, $3, or $5 to the food shelf cause when they buy deer license at electronic license stations.

By John Cross

The Free Press (MN) 2007-10-27

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Bridge out:

Bridge out:

Pending sugar beet harvest and resulting heavy traffic pushes Minnesota to close vital bridge between farms and processing plant after cracks found in span foundation; American Crystal Sugar Co.'s factory processes harvest from nearly 1,000 producers.

Stephen J. Lee

The Associated Press; West Central Tribune (MN) 2007-08-22

Deer problem:

Program that last year brought 35,000 pounds of hunter-donated venison to low-income clients of southern Wisconsin food pantry endangered by budget cuts; testing the deer for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) reduced by 60 percent; experts predict explosion in deer population.

By Christina Beam

Reedsburg Times Press (WI) 0000-00-00


New interactive map allows users to tract proliferation of factory farms by state and county - even number of animals - and it raises questions of whether we pursue the logic of industrialism to its limits, and how badly will it harm the landscape, the people who live in it and democracy itself?

The editors

The New York Times (may require subscription)

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