back the clones
your chance to comment on the FDA's plans to unleash
unlabeled cloned animal products on the American public.
The opportunity to make your voice heard closes April
3. In case you missed it in our news section last month,
more about the issue here.
Novel water purifier works
without chlorine; eyed for produce washing
University of Delaware researchers have developed
an inexpensive, nonchlorine-based technology that can
remove harmful microorganisms, including viruses, from
UD's patented technology incorporates highly reactive
iron in the filtering process to deliver a chemical
“knock-out punch” to a host of notorious
pathogens, from E. coli to rotavirus. The new technology
could dramatically improve the safety of drinking water
around the globe, particularly in developing countries.
Besides helping to safeguard drinking water, the UD
technology may have applications in agriculture. Integrated
into the wash-water system at a produce-packing house,
it could help clean and safeguard fresh and “ready
to eat” vegetables, particularly leafy greens
like lettuce and spinach, as well as fruit, according
Factory farming hearing
series continues through November
An April 9 to 11 meeting in North Carolina is the next
in a series of public hearings being hosted by the National
Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production.
The task of the commission, an independent entity launched
by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,
is to examine the impact of factory farming on public
health, the environment, rural areas and animal welfare.
Invited to speak are family farmers, citizens in communities
affected by factory farming and others who have particular
knowledge of the issues.
and registration to testify
Sites visually romance Iowa’s
Place-based Iowa foods are getting a boost from a new
website that tries to find an authentic, Midwestern
way to honor products that are closely tied to the land,
people and cultures that produce them.
The Iowa Arts Council produces the site, which features
10 items in a series of photos, brief or long narratives,
audio clips, list of establishments where the items
are sold and background on learning to cherish food
with strong ties to place.
The site was developed with funding from the Leopold
Center for Sustainable Agriculture as a way to increase
opportunities for Iowa’s farmers.
….and local in
all of New England
NewEnglandGrown is a new webzine devoted to New England
agriculture and food. Its third electronic edition came
out in February.
Content will include articles, recipes and interviews
about New England farming, as well as a listing of upcoming
events of interest like festivals, open-farm days, country
fairs and agricultural workshops. Goals are to increase
the vitality of local food systems, preserve open space
and strengthen rural New England communities.
Editor Kathleen Weldon included a profile on “Local
Food Dude” Tom Cipriano of Bloomfield, Connecticut,
and how he is bringing more local fresh fruits and vegetables
into the district’s schools.
Group demands USDA enforce
organic grazing rule
A Wisconsin organic watchdog group recently notified
the USDA of its intention to file a complaint in federal
district court accusing the agency of ignoring the organic
regulations, and the intent of Congress, by their failure
to enforce parts of the law on organic certification.
The Cornucopia Institute says it supports the efforts
of several organic dairy groups who recently asked the
USDA to crack down on an increasing number of industrial-scale
factory-farms that are producing organic milk without
meeting what the groups say is the clear intent of the
"There are five sections in the federal organic
standards that relate to pasture and grazing. Taken
together they leave little doubt as to what is expected
of organic livestock producers," said Jim Riddle,
of the University of Minnesota and former chair of the
National Organic Standards Board. "It is no coincidence
that except for the handful of mega-farms, all of the
nation’s organic dairy farmers, and most of the
certifiers that inspect them, understand that grazing
is required and operate their farms in accordance with