Food: Campbell’s to support mandatory GMO labeling

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GMO labeling coming soon to Campbell’s products. @bberwyn photo.

Citing widespread support among American consumers, Campbell’s has announced it will label products that contain genetically engineered ingredients.

“We are operating with a ‘Consumer First’ mindset. We put the consumer at the center of everything we do,” Campbell’s president and CEO Denise Morrison said in a prepared statement that was distributed to employees.

“That’s how we’ve built trust for nearly 150 years.  We have always believed that consumers have the right to know what’s in their food. GMO has evolved to be a top consumer food issue reaching a critical mass of 92 percent of consumers in favor of putting it on the label,” Morrison said. Continue reading

Health: Feds say eat less meat

What's the energy footprint on your dinner plate? @bberwyn photo.

Lots of veggies and a little fish makes for a healthy meal. @bberwyn photo.

New dietary guidelines point out health benefits reducing red meat consumption

Staff Report

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a new set of dietary guidelines calling on Americans — especially men — to cut back at least a bit on consumption of red meat.

The new guidelines were greeted as a positive step by environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, which said in a release that cutting meat consumption is not only good for public health, but benefits the environment by reducing climate and water pollution from the meat industry.

The report advises that cutting back on meat can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Read the new guidelines here. Continue reading

Activists challenge permit for Navajo Generating Station

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A lawsuit claims the federal government didn’t follow open-meeting requirements as it developed a permitting plan for the Navajo Generating Station near Page. Ariz. Photo via Wikimedia and the Creative Commons.

Legal complaint alleges federal agencies violated open meeting rules

Staff Report

Community activists will challenge the federal government’s permit for the pollution-spewing Navajo Generating Station, alleging in a lawsuit that the EPA and the U.S. Department of Interior violated open-meeting regulations during the permitting process.

The plant, located on Navajo lands near Page, Arizona, is one of the nation’s oldest and dirtiest coal-fired plants. Toxic emissions fall especially heavily on the Navajo Nation, which suffers some of the highest rates of asthma and other lung problems in any community in the country. Continue reading

Study says U.S. consumers waste 1.3 billion pounds of seafood per year

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A fisherman in Piran, Slovenia, tends his nets. @bberwyn photo.

Discarded seafood could feed 10 million people

Staff Report

With food waste on the UN agenda this week, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future say that as much as 47 percent of the edible U.S. seafood supply is lost each year — mainly from consumer waste.

In the U.S. and around the world, people are being advised to eat more seafood, but overfishing, climate change, pollution, habitat destruction and the use of fish for other purposes besides human consumption threaten the global seafood supply. Continue reading

Climate: Heatwaves and drought are piling up

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High temperatures and a lack of rain spread serious drought conditions across Europe this summer.

Study tracks increase in extreme conditions

Staff Report

FRISCO — Scientists taking a close look at the last 50 years — the modern global warming era — found that droughts and heat waves are happening simultaneously much more frequently than in the past.

The climate experts at the University of California, Irvine analyzed data  gathered from ground sensors and gauges since 1960 and crunched the numbers with a statistical model to track the upswing.

 

“Heat waves can kill people and crops while worsening air quality, and droughts exacerbate those serious impacts,” said senior author Amir AghaKouchak, assistant professor of civil & environmental engineering. “With these two extremes happening at the same time, the threat is far more significant.” Continue reading

Vermont study paints nuanced picture of GMO labeling effects

Some colorful cereal. I had never tasted these until a friend of my son's came for a sleepover and brought these along because they don't have any wheat in them. Anyone venture to guess what kind they are?

Does your favorite cereal include GMO ingredients?

Labeling may actually reduce opposition to GMOs among some demographic groups

Staff Report

FRISCO — A new Vermont study suggests that consumers don’t necessarily see GMO lables on food as a negative warning. In some cases, such labels may actually increase consumer confidence, the researchers said after analyzing five years worth of data.

A new study released just days after the U.S. House passed a bill that would prevent states from requiring labels on genetically modified foods reveals that GMO labeling would not act as warning labels and scare consumers away from buying products with GMO ingredients.

The statewide survey was focused on two key questions: whether Vermonters are opposed to GMO’s in commercially available food products; and if respondents thought products containing GMO’s should be labeled. Continue reading

Climate: CO2 hinders plants’ nitrogen uptake

Wheat field in Upper Austria

Wheat ripens under a summer sun. @bberwyn photo.

Study suggests that greenhouse gas pollution will have a fundamental impact on plant-nutrient cycles and food production

Staff Report

FRISCO — Increased concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide is hindering some plants from absorbing nitrogen, the nutrient governing crop growth in most terrestrial ecosystems.

Concentrations of nitrogen in plant tissue is lower in air with high levels of carbon dioxide, regardless of whether or not the plants’ growth is stimulated, University of Gothenburg (Sweden) researchers found in a new study, published in the journal Global Change Biology.

The study examined various types of ecosystems, including crops, grasslands and forests, and involves large-scale field experiments conducted in eight countries on four continents. Continue reading

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