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CDC’s “Get Smart About Antibiotics” Campaign Still Ignoring Animals
“Although previously unthinkable, the day when antibiotics don’t work is upon us. We are already seeing germs that are stronger than any antibiotics we have to treat them.” These are the words...
Important Reports on GE Crops Missed by the Boston Review Magazine Forum
I was recently a participant in a virtual forum sponsored by the Boston Review magazine called, rather grandly, “ The Truth About GMOs .” I was one of eight respondents asked to provide short...
Let’s Drop “Feed The World”: A Plea To Move Beyond an Unhelpful Phrase
After years of participation in public discussions about agriculture, I’ve developed something of an allergy to the catchphrase “feed the world.” It seems to come up with depressing regularity...
Cover Crops Dramatically Increase Corn Yields–Especially In Drought Conditions
Farmers planting crops that can’t be sold? That doesn’t sound like a sensible proposition, does it? After all, seed cost money and so does the equipment to get them in the ground. Why grow ’em...
Refocusing the Farm Bill
The current farm bill debate is unprecedented, shaking to its very foundation the powerful alliance of commodity and food stamp interests that has driven farm bills for decades. The failure of the...
Risk Assessments Are Missing Harmful Effects of Neonics on Honey Bees
As Rachel Carson noted in her seminal book Silent Spring , a quiet landscape can speak volumes. Lately the buzz of bees going about their invaluable work is getting softer and softer…and in...
Gene Silencing: New Products and New Risks
The J.R. Simplot Co. just filed a petition asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to grant non-regulated status to potatoes genetically engineered (GE) to reduce bruising and suppress...
Its Master’s Voice: The FDA’s Dependence on Drug Industry Fees
I’ve spent many years wondering why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been so slow to curb the rampant overuse of antibiotics in agriculture. Original Nipper, by Francis Barraud (1856–1924...
Weaker Antibiotic Regulation: Another Problem with FDA’s Voluntary Cooperation Program
Last post , I described some of the features of the voluntary process that might convince veterinary drug companies to give up lucrative approvals to sell antibiotics for production purposes, like...
Negotiating with Drug Companies: The Horse-Trading Behind the FDA’s Voluntary Program
After decades of dragging its feet on the issue, the FDA has finally acknowledged that the ongoing massive use of antibiotics in food animal production poses a public health risk that demands a...