Meats, Poultry & Seafood

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

Algae growth suspected in wild boar deaths along French coast; some point to nitrate buildup from fertilizer used by region's farmers

By Kim Willsher

Los Angeles Times 2011-07-28

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

Farmers, wise to reports of dead or quarantined livestock, anguish over possible effects of fracking to their livelihood while EPA claims no jurisdiction over food production matters

By Barry Estabrook

Gilt Taste 2011-05-14

Opinion: If you're raising and killing 10 billion animals every year, animal abuse is guaranteed, especially with standard inhumane factory-farming practices, lack of actual laws

By Mark Bittman

The New York Times 2011-04-26

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

Ponds are drying up and wildfires are burning grass as drought - the worst since 1967 in Texas region - stresses farmers already paying higher prices for fuel, fertilizer and feed

By Ana Campoy

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-04-12

Japanese fishermen take offensive in fight against owner of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, calling utility's dump of radioactive water into sea insulting, incompetent, unforgivable

By the CNN Wire Staff

CNN 2011-04-06

Long abandoned mercury mine that for decades has tainted fish and polluted creek that feeds into San Francisco Bay belongs on list of worst polluted places, feds say

By Jason Dearen

The Associated Press; Los Angeles Times 2011-03-11

Sardines that died en masse off coast of California tested positive for domoic acid, powerful neurotoxin often found in stomachs of fish feeding on plankton during algae blooms

By Tony Barboza

Los Angeles Times 2011-03-12

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

House flies, roaches may be conduit for superbugs ingested from feces at commercial hog farms; public health specialists look to block human interaction at nearby homes, businesses

By Mick Kulikowski

The Abstract (North Carolina State University) 2011-02-16

Law firm says that Taco Bell uses false advertising when it refers to using "seasoned ground beef" or "seasoned beef"; mixture doesn't meet USDA standards for labeling, suit says

The Associated Press; 2011-01-24

Europe's top chefs lead push for sustainable seafood as reports predict major commercial fish species will disappear by 2050 due to overfishing; eel wins over bluefin tuna, codfish

By Jeffrey T. Iverson

Time 2010-12-26

FDA trying to persuade pharmaceutical firms to stop providing antibiotics to promote livestock growth; companies sold 29 million pounds of antibiotics in 2009 for use in food animals

By Philip Brasher

Des Moines Register 2010-12-19

Oceans' acidification could profoundly disrupt nitrogen cycles, altering basic structure of Earth's food webs, according to experimental simulation; mollusks, crustaceans also at risk

By Brandon Keim

Wired 2010-12-21

Food security, marine diversity at stake as rapidly increasing acidification of oceans shrinks minerals needed for skeletons of shellfish, coral; 1 billion humas rely on fish as protein source

By Matthew Knight

CNN 2010-12-02

Oil from BP leak in Gulf of Mexico that disappeared was eaten, and made its way up the food chain to fish, whales, researchers learn; study did not look for toxicity in food web

By Campbell Robertson

The New York Times 2010-11-08

Opinion: Process surrounding AquaBounty GE salmon illustrates FDA's perverted process; study flaws include small sample size, non-random samples, setting detection limits too high

By Tom Laskawy

Grist 2010-09-14

Assuming that food chain stays healthy - a major question - Gulf Coast may have avoided worst of BP oil leak; dead zone from agricultural runoff to Mississippi River holding at size of New Jersey

By Leslie Kaufman and Shaila Dewan

The New York Times 2010-09-13

Federal investigators find manure piles, live mice, pigeons, other birds inside Iowa hen houses at egg farms suspected in salmonella outbreak; farms had never been inspected

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2010-08-31

Opinion: With US slaughterhouses poised to kill more than 10 billion animals in 2011, concern grows over health, environmental woes of handling the inedible 60 percent of each cow

By James E. McWilliams

The Atlantic 2010-08-11

Opinion: Biotech salmon is just starter protein in GM food revolution, but before using Frankenfish label, note that there are few aspects of food industry that remain "natural"

By Robin McKie

The Guardian (UK) 2010-08-27

FDA to begin what could be 18-month approval process for genetically modified salmon - first engineered animal destined for consumption by humans

By Barb Kiser 2010-08-26

Meat processing giant Cargill says multi-million dollar scheme to overhaul its waste water system at Australia slaughterhouse could slash facility's carbon footprint by 17 percent

By Rory Harrington News Media 2010-08-27

Absence of mandatory salmonella vaccine for hens - which has virtually eliminated illness in Britain and would cost less than a penny per dozen eggs - weakens FDA safety rules, experts say

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2010-08-24

In Australia, Monsanto's patent applications for enhancement of meat, including pork with omega-3s, spur debate over ethics, legalities of claiming intellectual property over food

By Anna Salleh

Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2010-08-19

Oil has become toxic to marine organisms at base of food chain - bacteria, phytoplankton - in section of Gulf that supports spawning grounds of commercially important fish

By Sara Kennedy

McClatchy Newspapers; Los Angeles Times 2010-08-18

Researchers warn that global decline in phytoplankton, a carbon sink and first part of marine food chain, will further reduce depleted fish stocks, could speed warming

By Markus Becker

Der Spiegel 2010-07-29

Opinion: Nation's 8 million acres of public rangeland should be regulated according to intensive grazing principles to turn grasslands verdant and to increase soil health

By Sara Rubin

The Atlantic 2010-06-22

Lawmaker asks FDA to answer questions about BP oil spill and how it could infiltrate marine ecosystem with arsenic and affect our food chain

By Matt Viser

The Boston Globe 2010-07-13

Methane-rich Hudson Canyon, off coast of New York, swarms with tuna, swordfish, monkfish, tilefish, red crabs - and now scientists

By William J. Broad

The New York Times 2010-07-12

Russia's ban of chicken imports over chlorine wash used by US processors creates surplus of dark meat leg quarters; USDA buys some for school meals, food banks

By Roberta Rampton

Reuters 2010-06-15

Opinion: As dispersants and oil mix in Gulf, shrimp, zooplankton, phytoplankton are first to experience internal bleeding - and toxins intensify as they move up the food chain

By Susan D. Shaw

The New York Times 2010-05-30

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

UN specialists will re-examine contribution of meat production to climate change after researcher says 2006 report exaggerated link

By Richard Black

BBC News 2010-03-24

It's unclear whether grass-fed beef - nutritionally superior to that from feedlots - means better human health, but its advocates cite humane practices, no antibiotics

By Tara Parker-Pope

The New York Times 2010-03-11

Discovery that red grouper dig holes that become homes for coral, sea sponges forces scientists to recalibrate and heightens tension with those who fish

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2010-03-08

Hope rises for endangered bluefin tuna with Obama's support of ban on international trade, but Japan is against measure

By Bryan Walsh

Time magazine 2010-03-04

EPA signals tighter rules on traditionally lax approach to megafarms' manure, which smothers waterways, taints air

By David A. Fahrenthold

The Washington Post 2010-03-01

In face of resistance from farmers, ranchers, USDA to drop livestock tracing program created after 2003 discovery of mad cow case

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2010-02-05

Acidified, iron-poor oceans may cause decline in populations of phytoplankton - critical to food chain

By Jessica Marshall

Discovery News 2010-01-14

As Asian carp breach Great Lakes, expense of eliminating invasive species is weighed against mounting liability - now $120 billion annually - of leaving them be

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2010-01-31

USDA opens door for pig skin imports for pork rinds, but critics fear disease; pork scraps often fed to hogs

By Lauren Etter

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-01-23

Despite public perception, grass-fed cows not immune to deadly E. coli, studies show

By James E. McWilliams

Slate Magazine 2010-01-22

Lawmakers urge Vilsack to enact curbs on antibiotic use in livestock to reduce threat to human health

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-01-20

Top 10 issues in 2010: Hunger, childhood obesity, food safety rules, food ads and labels, meat, sustainable agriculture, GM, chemicals, salt and Dietary Guidelines

By Marion Nestle

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-01-03

Opinion: Asian carp threat cause for concern, not panic

The editors

Chicago Tribune 2010-01-05

Schism in USDA allowed sale of ammonia-treated ground beef after pathogen discovery

By Michael Moss

The New York Times 2009-12-31

Opinion: To help ourselves, we must help oceans along with forests

By Dan Laffoley

The New York Times 2009-12-27

Opinion: Menhaden, crucial in ocean food chain, enters final losing phase for survival

By Paul Greenberg

The New York Times 2009-12-15

E.coli traced to producer that doesn't test for deadly bacteria

E. coli outbreak that has killed two people, sickened 500 others traced to ground beef producer that stopped testing ingredients years ago under pressure from beef suppliers. USDA has banned e.coli 0157.H7 but doesn't require meat companies to test for it; trimmings used to make ground beef are more susceptible to contamination because pathogen thrives in cattle feces that can get smeared on surfaces of whole cuts of meat. Grinders typically use trimmings from multiple suppliers; only ingredient testing, when it uncovers E. coli, enables grinders to identify slaughterhouse that shipped contaminated trim. Slaughterhouses have resisted independent testing by grinders for fear of recalls.

By Michael Moss

The New York Times 2009-11-13

Giant jellyfish capsize fishing trawler off Japanese coast

Giant jellyfish capsize fishing trawler off Japanese coast

The Telegraph

Crew of Japanese fishing trawler rescued after being thrown into sea while attempting to retrieve net containing huge Nomura's jellyfish. In 2005, jellyfish invasion damaged nets, rendered fish inedible with toxic stings and injured fishermen. Experts say contributing factor to jellyfish proliferation in Japanese waters may be decline in number of predators - sea turtles, certain species of fish. And: Jellyfish presence signals declining health of the world's oceans, scientists say (click 'See also').

By Julian Ryall

The Telegraph (UK) 2009-11-02

See also 

Opinion: Avoid processed foods, factory-farmed meat to cut warming

Twenty percent of food system's energy use is farm-related; half of food's greenhouse impact linked to farms. The rest comes from processing, transportation, storage, retailing, food preparation. Prevailing method of producing meat - crowding animals in factory farms, storing their waste in giant lagoons, cutting down forests to grow crops to feed them - cause substantial greenhouse emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides. Eaters can lower their global warming contribution by avoiding processed foods and those from industrialized farms; reducing food waste; and buying local and in season. And: Livestock's long shadow (click 'See also' for UN report).

By Nicolette Hahn Niman

The New York Times 2009-10-31

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Opinion: We have two choices - cheap meat or health

Factory farming of animals is chief cause of global warming, animal suffering, a decisive factor in diseases like bird and swine flu, cause of food-borne illness. Beyond illnesses linked to them, factory farms foster growth of drug-resistant germs, contribute to risk of pandemics like H1N1 swine flu, avian flu. Factory farm industry has more power than public health professionals because we fund industry by eating factory-farmed animal products. Perhaps, in deafening silence about this problem, we understand that something terribly wrong is happening. And: Factory farming's 335 million tons of manure annually hold infectious microbes that infiltrate air, soil, water, and are transported by houseflies, farm trucks, farm workers (click 'See also').

By Jonathan Safran Foer

CNN 2009-10-28

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Probing pig farms as overlooked risk to public health

Seeking answers to swine flu questions, experts study confined animal feeding operations. Many researchers think pig farming is serious, overlooked risk to public health. Indirect, indisputable proof, say virologists, is current H1N1 pandemic influenza, which likely began in a pig (H1N1 strain was identified in seven pigs at Minnesota State Fair in late summer). There is small but steady traffic of virus between America's 110 million pigs and the 120,000 people who care for them. Mathematical modeling suggests CAFOs can function as 'amplifiers' of pandemic strains.

By David Brown

The Washington Post 2009-10-25

Opinion: Feds must fill safety gaps in beef, other food production

Eating a hamburger should not be a death-defying experience. Too often it is (click 'See also'). Ground beef is major part of American diet. Government needs to quickly fill safety gaps in food production. Congress, USDA should make it illegal to discourage additional testing for pathogens, must give USDA more authority to recall foods or to shut down plants that keep sending out contaminated products. Administration should nominate strong undersecretary for food safety. That vacancy leaves a huge gap.

The editors

The New York Times 2009-10-10

See also 

Cut CO2 now to protect food source for salmon, herring, scientists say

Limit carbon dioxide emissions now to stop major disruption to global food chain, scientists urge. In many regions around north pole, Arctic seawater likely to reach corrosive levels within 10 years and will begin to dissolve shells of mussels, shellfish. Tiny mollusk, Limacina helicina, is eaten by North Atlantic salmon, herring, baleen whales, various seabirds. About a quarter of carbon dioxide pumped into atmosphere by factories, power stations and cars now falls into the oceans - 6.6 million tons daily.

By Robin McKie

The Guardian (UK) 2009-10-04

Flawed safety system makes eating ground beef a gamble

Tens of thousands of people sickened annually by e. coli O157:H7, mostly through hamburger. Ground beef blamed for 16 outbreaks in last three years, including one from Cargill that left 22-year-old children's dance teacher paralyzed from waist down. Hamburger patty her mother grilled for her was mix of slaughterhouse trimmings plus scraps from Nebraska, Texas, Uruguay and from company that processes fatty trimmings and adds ammonia to kill bacteria. In weeks before teacher's patty was made, records show Cargill was violating its own ground beef handling procedures. Cargill, which supplies beef for school lunches, has revenue of $116.6 billion last year and is country's largest company.

By Michael Moss

The New York Times 2009-10-04

Palau takes steps to protect sharks from extinction

Palau creates world's first shark sanctuary to protect more than 135 Western Pacific species of sharks and rays considered endangered or vulnerable, but has only one boat to patrol waters the size of Texas. President also calls for moratorium on 'finning' - the practice of hacking off shark fins (for shark-fin soup popular in China) and throwing the body back into sea - and an end to unregulated and destructive bottom trawling. Shark steaks are increasingly served in restaurants, replacing swordfish.

By John Heilprin

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2009-09-24

Palau takes steps to protect sharks from extinction

Palau creates world's first shark sanctuary to protect more than 135 Western Pacific species of sharks and rays considered endangered or vulnerable, but has only one boat to patrol waters the size of Texas. President also calls for moratorium on 'finning' - the practice of hacking off shark fins (for shark-fin soup popular in China) and throwing the body back into sea - and an end to unregulated and destructive bottom trawling. Shark steaks are increasingly served in restaurants, replacing swordfish.

By John Heilprin

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2009-09-24

Bill would ban arsenic in nation's poultry industry

New York congressman introduces bill to ban use of arsenic compound known as roxarsone as a food additive. Bill 3624 called Poison-Free Poultry Act of 2009. And: Feeding arsenic to chickens promotes their growth (click 'See also'). EPA says 70 percent of the 8.7 billion broiler chickens produced annually are fed arsenic. In study, 55 percent of raw supermarket chicken contained arsenic; nearly 75 percent of breasts, thighs, and livers from conventional producers did too. Carcinogen contributes to heart disease, diabetes. Some drinking water naturally high in arsenic; runoff from fields covered with arsenic-laden chicken manure adds to problem. 2009-09-22

See also 

Pesticides, pollution in food supply linked to obesity epidemic

Environmental chemicals may well account for good part of obesity epidemic, especially in those under 50, and may cause spike in infant obesity rates. Certain hormone-mimicking pollutants throughout food chain act on genes in developing fetus, newborns to reprogram precursor cells into lifelong fat cells, and they may alter metabolic rate, turning body into physiological Scrooge, research shows. Other research reports that the more pesticides children were exposed to as fetuses, the greater their risk of being overweight as toddlers; children exposed to higher levels of PCBs and DDT-related chemical before birth were fatter than others.

By Sharon Begley

Newsweek magazine 2009-09-21

Tipping point on farmed vs wild-caught fish seen for 2009

Sometime this year, half the fish, shellfish we eat will be farmed, not wild caught. Tipping point is reshaping oceans, livelihoods, diets. Environmental challenges include need to feed many small fish to bigger fish that consumers crave. Up to one-third of global catch goes to produce fish oil, fish meal that fish, poultry and pig-farming operations demand, which depletes stocks of forage fish - anchovies, sardines and menhaden, plus krill, food for penguins, whales (click 'See also') - a link expert says must be broken. Farmed fish might have eaten unused poultry trimmings, been vaccinated, consumed antibiotics or been selected for certain genetic traits.

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2009-09-20

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Sick farm workers likely source of turkeys' swine flu

Turkeys at two farms have caught swine flu, likely from infected farm workers, and have been quarantined in Chile, UN says. Once the sick birds have recovered, production, processing will continue. 'They do not pose a threat to the food chain,' says official. Canada, Argentina and Australia have previously reported spread of H1N1 swine flu virus from farm workers to pigs.

By Sudeep Chand

BBC News 2009-08-27

Some fish saved from brink; others may face extinction

With good management, many fish populations can recover from brink, new study shows. But there are more collapsed fish populations than ever known; many individual species - cod, for example - threatened; two-thirds of all stocks need to be rebuilt, half of those still overfished. And: Compass Group, world's largest contract caterer, bans 69 species of fish from menus at thousands of restaurants across UK, Ireland in a move hailed by campaigners fighting to protect threatened stocks (click 'See also').

By Brandon Keim

Wired 2009-07-30

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Opinion: Regulate mercury now to protect human health

EPA should issue tough rule to control mercury spewed from coal-fired power plants, knowing that it is essential to protect human health - toxin is found in increasingly high concentrations in fish. Another reason: GAO, found that, in some cases, mercury emissions were reduced up to 90 percent at average cost of $3.6 million, or pennies a month on consumers' electric bills. And: Mercury-contaminated fish advisories, state by state (click 'See also').

The editors

The New York TImes 2009-07-25

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More inspections could have prevented latest big beef recall

The 41,280-pound JBS Swift beef recall for e.coli, linked to 18 illnesses, could have been prevented if USDA plan to inspect more beef had been implemented. USDA is proposing to consider primal cuts - the large chunks of beef usually made into steaks, roasts - adulterated if e. coli is detected, and also to begin testing leftover parts of primals often turned into ground beef.

By Bill Tomson

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2009-07-10

Pork producer delays plan to give pregnant sows more room

Pork producer delays plan to give pregnant sows more room


Smithfield, citing poor earnings, will delay phasing out 'gestation crates' past original deadline of 2017. And: Shareholders will vote in August on request by PETA, which holds stock, on specifying timetable for providing more room for pregnant sows (click 'See also'). Company wants shareholders to reject request because it is uncertain when the $300 million for transition will be available.

By Philip Walzer

The Virginian-Pilot 2009-07-08

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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

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Industrial farming growing, dispersing drug-resistant pathogens

Industrial farming growing, dispersing drug-resistant pathogens

Kellogg Schwab/

Sampling the air for pathogens in a poultry house.

Adding antibiotics to farm animal feed is fostering, dispersing drug-resistant bacteria that imperil public health, researchers are learning. Chicken, cow, pig manure - 335 million tons annually - distributes pathogens through fertilizer and manure lagoons, where infectious microbes infiltrate air, soil, water, and are transported by houseflies, farm trucks, farm workers. Government requires no disclosure on microbial use in agriculture. In his 1945 Nobel Prize address, Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, had warned of ease in making microbes resistant; Pork Board spokesperson isn't convinced.

By Dale Keiger

Johns Hopkins Magazine 2009-06-01

Under pressure, McDonald's to study alternative hen housing

Humane Society asks McDonald's shareholders to mandate phased-in use of eggs from cage-free hens, but fast-food giant tells them to reject resolution. Firm announces 2-year hen housing study - a delay, says Humane Society. Burger King, Hardee's, Quizno's, Carl's Jr., Denny's have agreed that up to 5 percent of egg purchases from U.S. suppliers will come from cage-free hens. And: Chain uses 3 billion eggs and 290 million chickens a year (click 'See also').

By Mike Hughlett

Chicago Tribune 2009-05-21

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USDA head defends livestock industry practices

With flu epidemic focusing attention on pork production practices of crowded conditions, routine antibiotic use, USDA head defends industry against lawmaker's probing. Antibiotics are given to hogs to prevent disease and for weight gain. In recent study, nearly half the hogs and half the farmers tested were carrying antibiotic-resistant MRSA bacteria. And: Risks of industrial-scale animal production unacceptable, study says (click 'See also').

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2009-05-14

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For scientists, hunt is on for Pig Zero and A(H1N1) flu origin

Swine flu virus, a blend of genes from Americas pigs, Eurasia pigs, doesn't yet show genetic proof that those pigs ever met. Shipping pigs between Canada, U.S., Mexico for fattening, slaughter is routine; legal movement of pigs across oceans is rare. Western hemisphere part of virus has carried an avian segment for at least 10 years, human segment since 1993. And: Virus gets new name - influenza A(H1N1) - after pork industry complains (click 'See also').

By Donald G. McNeil Jr.

The New York Times 2009-05-01

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Swine flu is hybrid of two pig flu strains, researchers learn

Swine flu virus H1N1 is hybrid of two common pig flu strains - North American, described in 1930s, and Eurasian, described in 1979, new analysis shows. Earliest case was in La Gloria, Veracruz, near Granjas Carroll hog farm, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. Researchers have warned that unsanitary conditions at industrial hog farms could prove a breeding ground for new flu forms. And: Internet chatter tracked 'four-alarm-fire' of infection in Mexico around Catholic holy week, a time of increased travel (click 'See also').

By Brandon Keim

Wired 2009-04-28

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Low oxygen kills healing bacteria in water 'dead zones'

Dead zones in waterways tenacious because oxygen deficiency neither supports aquatic life nor water-cleaning bacteria. Dead zones caused by excess phosphorous, nitrogen washed from croplands, sewage treatment systems, livestock operations, cruise ship waste dumping, paved areas. Return of sea grass to Chesapeake Bay a hopeful sign and may be result of low rainfall.

By Kari Lydersen

The Washington Post 2009-02-17

Beef, whether grass-fed or grain-fed, burdens climate

Beef, whether grass-fed or grain-fed, burdens climate

Eat less grain-fed and grass-fed beef to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, scientists say. Grass-fed cattle have 50 percent higher carbon footprint than grain-fed counterparts, says researcher. Causes: Higher volumes of feed; highly managed, fertilized pastures; high grass-trampling rate. But another expert (click 'See also') says feedlot beef requires twice as much fossil fuel energy to produce as grass-fed beef.

By Janet Raloff

Science News 2009-02-15

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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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Warming will be worse than thought; coal, beef are two culprits

Warming will be faster, more damaging than previously thought, says scientist. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) increased far faster than expected between 2000-2007, mainly by burning of coal for electricity in India, China. And: 30 percent of human-generated global warming potential caused by foods, beverage production; about half of those come from meat; beef accounts for 30 percent of world's meat consumption, but contributes 78 percent of meat's GHG emissions (click 'See also').

BBC 2009-02-15

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Some Arctic waters off-limits to commercial fishing

Rapid climate changes cited in new ban of commercial fishing in parts of Arctic waters. Restrictions endorsed by fishermen/processing trade group. Concerns include unregulated fishing, warming, effect of commercial fishing on region's resources, subsistence fishing, ecosystem.

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2009-02-05

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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Study shows pesticide's insidious effect on food chain

Malathion, used to kill insects and mosquitoes, affects interactions within food chains, scientists learn. They added seemingly harmless levels to ponds holding tadpoles. Concentration killed most of zooplankton, which let phytoplankton bloom, depriving periphyton (tadpole food) of sunlight. Tadpoles went hungry, thus weren't mature enough to hop away by the time the ponds dried, so they died. And: Weedkiller linked to frog decline (click 'See also).

By Rhitu Chatterjee

Environmental Science & Technology 2008-10-15

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Sea's CO2 absorption falls; tougher emissions limits may be required

Suddenly, Sea of Japan absorbing much less carbon dioxide than before, scientists find; other oceans likely affected. Weakening of absorption would require countries to adopt stricter emissions limits to prevent dangerous rises in temperature. And: It's the tiny ocean plants - phytoplankton - that absorb CO2 (click 'See also') to build cells during photosynthesis, then, upon death, carry carbon in their cells to deep ocean, sequestering them. They're also base of marine food web. Zooplankton - tiny animals - eat phytoplankton and are in turn eaten. If phytoplankton don't get enough nutrients, surface waters become "marine deserts," so fish can't survive in surface water, and seabirds can't eat.

By David Adam

The Guardian (UK) 2009-01-12

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As meat consumption rises, scrutiny grows over production emissions

Large-scale agriculture, meat production coming under scrutiny as policy makers, farmers, scientists seek solutions. Trillions of farm animals generate 18 percent of emissions that raise global temperatures, UN says; meat eating expected to double between 2000 and 2050. Only 98 of 2,000-plus UN-backed emission-curbing projects are in agriculture. And: greenhouse gases by the numbers (click 'See also').

By Elisabeth Rosenthal

International Herald Tribune 2008-12-04

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Opinion: Biotech animals need ample oversight

Congress must ensure that FDA has budget for transparent assessments of genetically engineered animal products. New standards, which require producers to show that inserted genes do not harm animal's health and that any food from genetically engineered animal is safe to eat, are far more rigorous than agency's current oversight of biotech crops and cloned animals.

The editors

The New York Times 2008-10-03

Beyond spiritual discipline, is kosher/halal green?

Keeping kosher or halal can reduce or increase carbon footprint, depending on replacements for pork (mid-range emissions) and shrimp (energy-intensive, environmentally damaging). Good substitutes: produce, chicken, herring, wild salmon. And: Poultry industries have worked since 2005 to persuade EPA to ease reporting requirements of ammonia emissions from their vast manure lagoons (click 'See also').

By Emily Gertz

Scientific American 2008-09-25

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Seafood labels don't always match product, DNA shows

In survey of 60 seafoods at New York sushi restaurants and seafood markets, a quarter of labels didn't match product, young researchers learn from newly available DNA analysis. Genetic fingerprinting technique, used by one sleuth's dad in his work with birds, showed that one fish labeled as white tuna was really tilapia, and in another case, red snapper was cod.

By John Schwartz

The New York Times 2008-08-21

Stinging reminder of overfishing, pollution, takes over beaches

Jellyfish unwelcome residents at beaches worldwide after severe overfishing removes their predators (tuna, sharks, swordfish) and food competitors, and pollution saps oxygen needed for other predators to thrive in coastal shallows. Their presence signals declining health of the world's oceans, scientists say. And: Jellyfish could take place of fish with chips (click 'See also').

By Elisabeth Rosenthal

The New York Times 2008-08-03

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Ordering farms' halt to use of human antibiotic

FDA orders farmers to stop dosing chickens, cows, pigs and eggs with drug used to treat skin infections, stomach infections and pneumonia in humans. Agency says that overuse will render cephalosporins ineffective in treating human disease.

Bloomberg News; Newsday 2008-07-03

Farmers squeezed as New Zealand aims for carbon neutrality

As New Zealand works toward carbon-neutral goal, its farmers seethe at proposal to make them the world's first forced to pay if they exceed government-imposed limits on greenhouse gases. Livestock-generated methane and more potent nitrous oxide make up about half the greenhouse gases that New Zealand adds to Earth's air.

By Paul Watson

Los Angeles Times 2008-06-07

Pew panel urges new farming model

American agriculture must chart course away from factory farming to reverse environmental and human health problems, Pew panel says. Experts, in two-year study, probed quantity and impact of animal sewage on waterways and soil; human health implications of antimicrobials used for animal growth; impact of factory farms on rural life; and welfare of animals. For report, click 'See also.'

By H. Josef Hebert

The Associated Press; San Francisco Chronicle 2008-04-29

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Test-tube steaks

Proponents of vat-grown meat gather in Norway to discuss specialty tissue engineering. They say it will be a more efficient, cheaper and carbon-friendly way to make animal meat. But reproducing muscle, or the combination of muscle, fat and connective tissue to make steak, is proving difficult. Conference-goers skipped the samples and ate Norwegian salmon instead.

By Alexis Madrigal

Wired 2008-04-11

Nose knows

Scientists at Shanghai Fisheries University report they have created a high-tech food nose that notes chemicals emitted by decaying food particles and can detect a prawn that is on verge of spoilage, as well as problems with poultry, meat and eggs; another product, a food safety chip, can detect viruses, dead or alive.

By Rachel Yan

Shanghai Daily (China) 2007-11-05

Opinion: Label it

Bill requiring labels for cloned meats and milk is a small step in the right direction; FDA's movement toward no-label approval based on part, from biotech company data, is a slippery slope toward other questionable biotech products including human genes.

By Osagie K. Obasogie and Pete Shanks

San Francisco Chronicle 2007-10-05

Slow recall

As cases of Topps-related e.coli climb, USDA examines reasons why it waited 18 days to announce recall of 21.7 million pounds of New Jersey company's frozen hamburger patties; New York recall went out after first case was confirmed.

By Stephen J. Hedges

Chicago Tribune 2007-10-04

Word play

As concerns grow over the origins and safety of what we eat, manufacturers and grocers respond with a positive yet puzzling new vocabulary, and consumers are left wondering about the differences between "organic" and "natural."

By Andrea Weigl

The News & Observer (NC) 2007-10-03

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Food cycle

Food cycle

Long used in China, integrated aquaculture, with fish waste fertilizing certain plants and fish sold at market, now attractive to researchers and entrepreneurs in Australia; barramundi and Murray cod enrich lettuce, bok choy and herbs.

By Mary-Lou Considine

ECOS magazine; 2007-08-29

A perfect storm?

As farmers eagerly switch from food crops to those for biofuels, ecological and social factors led by high food prices, meat-rich diets, dropping water supplies, climate change and the growing population threaten vast numbers of people with food and water shortages.

By John Vidal

The Guardian (UK) 2007-08-29

Dead zone:

Dead zone:

Ethanol craze looms dangerously large for fish and crabs in Chesapeake, since larger acreage planted in nitrogen-needy corn means more fertilizer runoff into water, which spawns growth of oxygen-depriving algae, study reports.

The Associated Press; Business Week 2007-08-27

Growing spirit:

Long the designated caretakers of the poor and disenfranchised, religious communities find their interests growing toward farming and food production for reasons including humane treatment of animals, fair wages to workers and stewardship of the Earth.

By Joan Nathan

The New York Times 2007-08-22

One bug or two?

One bug or two?

Seeking sales, food processors add crushed insects to yogurt and grapefruit juice, titanium dioxide to Betty Crocker's white frosting, and dye to fish and chicken feed, but FDA rules are lax on ingredients disclosure, so labels might read 'artificial color.'

By Pallavi Gogoi

Business Week Online 2006-10-01

Fish in decline:

Overfishing, poaching and pollution have depleted worldwide fish stocks to 10 percent of normal; for every pound of shrimp harvested, 10 pounds are discarded, along with turtles and dolphins, conservationists report.

By Eviana Hartman

Washington Post

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Future farms:

For Toronto, Tokyo and other urban sites, Columbia University professor conceives of vertical farming in tall buildings, with each floor hosting hydroponically grown crops, including grains, as well as small livestock such as pigs.

By Eviana Hartman

Washington Post

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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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