According to the CDC, 121 cases related to a potent strain of E. Coli have affected over half of the states in the US, with the main source stemming from romaine lettuce from the Yuma region of Arizona. The CDC has issued warnings to the public: “Do not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. Restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about their source of romaine lettuce.” While authorities have not been able to link the outbreak to a single source, it’s clear that issues in growing, packing, and handling are potential contributors. Continue reading “The Future of Farming: Reconsidering the E. Coli Breakout”
Earlier this year, biotech corporation Monsanto released its first ever dicamba-resistant strain of seeds. This wouldn’t be unusual if not for the fact that the use of dicamba on GM crops is illegal in all 50 states. Dicamba is a chemical found in herbicides that disrupts hormonal functions in certain types of plants in order to kill them, and is legally sold for controlling lawn weeds. It is known for its ability to drift rapidly after application, as well as its high toxicity to non-modified soybeans. Though an herbicide made for GM crops that contains dicamba, FeXapan, is currently under review by the EPA, Monsanto released its “Xtend” seeds before the completion of the EPA’s FeXapan review. Monsanto justified this release by claiming it that it wanted to introduce farmers to the latest batch of seeds considering the worsening weed resistance to glyphosate, another common herbicide, in many parts of the U.S. Naturally, farmers that wanted to increase their yields and profits purchased the Xtend seeds and began illegally applying herbicides that contained dicamba that were not made for widespread use.
Continue reading “A Tale of Two Seeds: Monsanto and the Dicamba Wars”
The ability of humans to genetically modify the resources we use for food has changed the way in which we view and interact with the environment and natural resources. In the past, seeds for agricultural staples, like corn and soybeans, have undergone genetic modification to improve growth and yield and make the most efficient use of agricultural inputs. While controversy still surrounds the issue of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), many argue that they must be part of a sustainable food future in which humans make the most of every developed acre. Continue reading “GMOs, Salmon and Overfishing”