Ag Headlines—Pollinators, Biotech Crops, Cheese Alerts, and the Hygiene Hypothesis
News items about food production and agriculture offer us a digital smorgasbord, but many readers do not have the time to dig under the surface of the headlines and tweets. Check out these recent items—and the article, commentary, or blog that can provide more insights:
Mac & Cheese Reports–Health Alert or Fear Mongering?
After testing 30 different cheese products, researchers found that all but one contained chemicals called phthalates
–man-made substances that have been shown to interfere with human hormones. The highest levels were found in the cheesy powder used to make the sauce for boxed macaroni and cheese. BUT
—according to many, a mac-and-cheese eater would need to eat hundreds of servings to reach a toxic level. University of Florida scientist Kevin Folta
says the reports are another case of manipulating your deepest food fears
Pollinators and Bee Health–Common Sense Approaches
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has initiated the “Voluntary Plan to Mitigate the Risk of Pesticides to Managed Pollinators
.” The document consists mostly of recommended best practices for the use of outdoor agricultural and commercial pesticides to minimize honeybee losses, but does not strengthen pesticide regulations. It mainly encourages beekeepers and pesticide applicators to communicate more effectively and use chemicals wisely. Check out CAST’s informative commentary, Why Does Bee Health Matter? The Science Surrounding Honey Bee Health Concerns and What We Can Do About It
Biotech Crops and Trade
Gotta Get Dirty
by dan gogerty (bottom pic from corbisimages.com)
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