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Best of Both Worlds: Preserving Agriculture on the Urban Fringe

Guest Bogger

Eric Christianson, MS Iowa State University
Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture and MCRP Community and Regional Planning

Ames, Iowa

Growing up the son of a corn and bean farmer in northern Illinois, I remember my parents talking jealously about a neighbor who received a generous offer from a developer for his farmland. It seemed a great fortune to me for farmers to be able to profit so handsomely from the expansion of cities. Read More

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A Hole in the Regulation of GMOs that Kudzu Could Fit Through

A little-noticed, almost nonchalant, article in the Columbus Dispatch last week portends substantial environmental and economic mischief. Read More

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President Obama’s State of the Union: the Good, the Not-So-Good, and the Missing

President Obama covered a wide range of issues in last night’s State of the Union speech, with much of it focused on the need for more aggressive action on issues like economic inequality, unemployment, education and training. But he also addressed several of the issues that UCS works on directly, especially climate change and energy. Read More

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Why Support a Flawed Farm Bill?

After more than two years of twists, turns, delays, and unfathomable political machinations, the House of Representatives has just passed a new Farm Bill—that massive, 5-year piece of legislation that governs what our nation’s agriculture and food system looks like. This should be cause for celebration…but my reaction is much more tempered. As an advocate for a healthier, more sustainable food system, I like some pieces of the bill very much. As a person who thinks that no American in 2014 should go hungry, I also worry about some of its provisions. Read More

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Federal Trade Commission Pushes Back Against Counterfeit Science

The Center for Science and Democracy at UCS was created because we believe scientific evidence matters—for public policy decisions, and for citizens making decisions every day about their health and well-being. At least as far as truth in advertising goes, it turns out we have a strong ally in the federal government: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Read More

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Corn Belt Farmers Respond to Climate Change

Guest Bogger

Gabrielle Roesch, PhD Student
Iowa State University, Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Sociology

Ames, Iowa

My family’s direct ties to the land ended generations ago, yet I have been drawn to agriculture, food production and the broader issues of natural resource management since I was a child. It likely started picking raspberries for my grandmother on Long Island, and was further fueled by a food security fellowship in Zambia and Ethiopia. Read More

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Fait Accompli—USDA Decision on Herbicide-Resistant Crops Betrays Farmers and the Public

On Friday, January 3, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This clears the way for approval of engineered soybeans and corn resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D, pending a final EIS and pesticide tolerances from EPA. Read More

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More Chicken or Pork, Less Beef: A Holiday Gift for the Climate

Today an article by five co-authors and me was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. It’s on “Ruminants, climate change and climate policy,” and makes the point that political and business leaders concerned about global warming have missed an important part of the problem. This missing piece of the puzzle is the emissions – mostly of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times as powerful as CO2 – that come from ruminant livestock, which include sheep, goats, water buffalo, and most importantly cattle. Read More

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Monsanto Supersizes Farmers’ Weed Problem

So now the Monsanto Company thinks its bad reputation with the public is primarily an air time problem. As the agribusiness giant’s Chief Technology Officer (and recent World Food Prize winner) Robert Fraley told Politico recently, Monsanto has been “absolutely riveted and focused on giving technology and tools to farmers to improve their productivity and yield and we haven’t spent nearly the time we have needed to on talking to consumers and talking to social media.”

Seriously?? Read More

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Tackling the Epidemic of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds with Sustainable Solutions

Weeds that have developed resistance to glyphosate herbicide used with Monsanto’s engineered herbicide resistance trait have reached epidemic proportions. A recent survey puts the area infested by these weeds at 61 million acres, and increasing rapidly. Read More

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