Feb 24 (Reuters) – A citizens’ group on Maui on Monday
launched a petition to allow voters to consider temporarily
suspending production of genetically modified crops (GMOs) on
the Hawaiian island.
The group said its “temporary moratorium initiative” seeks a
suspension until the completion of an environmental and public
health impact study examining the effects of widespread testing
of GMO crops and associated pesticide use.
Feb 24 (Reuters) – After more than 15 years of using
genetically modified crops, U.S. farmers are continuing to see
an array of benefits, but the impacts on the environmental and
on food production are mixed, and high farmer use of a popular
herbicide on GMO crops is a cause for ongoing concern, according
to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“We are not characterizing them (GMO crops) as bad or good.
We are just providing information,” said Michael Livingston, a
government agricultural economist and one of the authors of the
report, prepared by the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS).
By Carey Gillam
(Reuters) – Michael Taylor has been here before.
The 47-year-old convicted murderer due to be executed in Missouri on Wednesday, came within hours of dying in 2006 before a court ordered a stay on concerns about the doctor and the drugs prison officials planned to use.
Now, a team of defense attorneys from Los Angeles to Washington D.C., is again fighting to keep Taylor out of the death chamber. They have filed a flurry of appeals that include attacks on the state for its methodology and secrecy over the lethal injection drugs the state intends to use. The lawyers also argue that Taylor should be serving a life sentence instead of facing death.
20 (Reuters) – Farm workers, children and other people
working or living near farm fields would have more protection
from hazardous pesticides under changes proposed on Thursday by
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“Today marks an important milestone for the farm workers who
plant, tend, and harvest the food that we put on our tables each
day,” Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator, said in a statement.
By Carey Gillam
(Reuters) – Picking up a gallon of milk at the grocery store is getting pricier and the cost could hit a record high for U.S. consumers in March, analysts warned.
Strong global demand and stagnant production in other countries has led to increased exports of U.S. dairy products in recent months, generating more money for dairy farmers but resulting in likely price hikes of 10-20 percent at the retail level in some markets, according to analysts.
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) – An Oklahoma compounding pharmacy has agreed not to provide a drug needed to execute a Missouri inmate who has argued that it could cause severe and inhumane pain, but state officials said they would still proceed with the execution.
U.S. District Judge Terence Kern on Tuesday dismissed inmate Michael Taylor’s lawsuit against The Apothecary Shoppe in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after the settlement. The pharmacy agreed to not prepare or provide pentobarbital or any other drug for use in the execution.
By Carey Gillam
(Reuters) – U.S. food companies are rushing to offer consumers thousands of products free of genetically modified ingredients but are finding the effort costly and cumbersome in a landscape dominated by the controversial biotech crops.
The hurdles are so high that the growing “GMO-free” trend could result in a price spike for consumers, industry experts say. Eighteen years after GMO crops were introduced to help farmers fight weeds and bugs, they are so pervasive in the supply chain that securing large and reliable supplies of non-GMO ingredients is nearly impossible in some cases.
Feb 18 (Reuters) – Institutional investors are buying up
U.S. farmland at a rapid rate, and their influence is starting
to shift the types of crops grown and the way the land is
managed, according to a report issued Tuesday.
There is an estimated $10 billion in institutional capital
looking to acquire U.S. farmland, and over the next 20 years, as
the current generation of farmers retires, an estimated 400
million acres will change hands, according to the report issued
by The Oakland Institute, a Calfornia-based think tank with a
focus on agriculture.
Feb 13 (Reuters) – The growth of biotech crops in the United
States appears to have hit a plateau, but farmers are
accelerating plantings of genetically modified corn and rice in
Asia, notably China, although it still remains a much smaller
market, according to an industry report issued Thursday.
Farmers around the world grew a record 175.2 million
hectares (433 million acres) of biotech crops in 2013, up 3
percent from 2012, with American and Brazilian farmers
continuing to be the dominant users, according to the
International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech
Applications (ISAAA), a pro-biotech industry organization.
12 (Reuters) – Crowd funding has found the farm.
AgFunder, an online platform for agriculture-related
companies to seek capital through a form of crowd-sourced
fundraising, said Wednesday it was launching its first campaign
by focusing on a California agricultural data company.
Through the online platform, Fresno, California-based OnFarm
is looking to raise $400,000 in capital to grow a farm data
software service, AgFunder said.