The news of the Arctic Apple’s approval coincides with a joint statement from over 300 groups and individuals who note that, despite long regulatory approval processes, there is no scientific consensus about the safety of GMO products for human consumption.
6. A Canadian Cow Dies from Mad Cow Disease (Edmonton Journal)
Back in 2007, Canada implemented a ban on “enhanced feed” to lower the risk that cattle in that country would contract mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encepthalopathy (BSE). This week, a cow born two years after the ban died from the disease, though the Canadian Food Inspection Agency hasn’t released details indicating whether other animals might also be infected. Canadian officials have noted that the infected animal ended up in products meant for human or animal consumption. Several countries are growing increasingly wary of Canadian beef given the most recent case of BSE, and South Korea has temporarily banned imports.
7. Arsenic, Nitrates Among Pollutants in California’s Drinking Water (Yahoo News/Reuters)
As California’s devastating drought, now in its fourth year, continues to challenge the state’s farmers and residents, a new report has found evidence of over 1,000 violations of federal water quality standards. During the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found dangerous contaminants like arsenic and nitrates in the state-run water system, potentially posing significant environmental and public health risks. These pollutants were tied to potential human sources, such as agriculture systems and explosives.
8. Water, Air Quality Concerns Heighten Conflict Between Pig Farms and Environmental Advocates (Associated Press)
In states like Iowa and North Carolina, among the top in the U.S. for hog production, cities and residents are suing concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) for dirtying up the drinking water. CAFOs tend to have massive amounts of runoff of manure and other waste, which often ends up in the waterways that provide nearby cities and towns with water for drinking and recreation, as well as in the air residents breathe. Many of these people have had enough, and are arguing that right to healthy and safe water and air is more important than turning a profit on a pig farm.
Despite activists’ efforts to fight back against the consolidation in the pork industry, Hormel Foods is poised to acquire Applegate Farms, an organic company offering a range of pork products like hot dogs and bacon.