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News for August 18, 2010

Monsanto spent $2.18 million lobbying gov't in 2Q

Monsanto Co. spent $2.18 million in the second quarter to lobby the federal government on a proposed changes to U.S. patent law and other issues that could affect the world's largest seed company, according to a disclosure report.

The company lobbied the U.S. Department of Justice and Congress on antitrust and consolidation issues in agriculture. Monsanto's use of patents is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. At issue is whether Monsanto has violated antitrust laws though its tight control of patented genes.

READ MORE (Bloomberg Businessweek) ]

Farmers, consumers, activists discuss raw milk issues at NOFA symposium

Raw milk.

To supporters, the phrase conjures images of a life-enhancing whole food good for the body and good for farmers’ economic sustainability.

To opponents, the phrase denotes a pathogen-carrying demon worthy of big warning labels and prohibition-style government raids.

READ MORE (The Commons) ]

Spreading the love

AMHERST — To make very good butter, you need leak-proof jars with lids and a container of heavy whipping cream.

At the 36th annual Northeast Organic Farming Association Summer Conference held at the University of Massachusetts last weekend, Gavin Harper, 19, and his mom Jennifer Byington, led 30 rapt children in a workshop on the ancient dairy art. It turns out to be a great way to entertain them and make food at the same time.

“Tap it against your paw,’’ Harper instructs the youngsters sitting on a lawn. Faces scrunched in concentration, the kids tap, slosh, and shake their sealed jars of cream, passing them on when they get tired. In no time, the first creamy yellow lump becomes visible, floating in a thin, milky-white liquid.

READ MORE (The Boston Globe) ]

The case for raw milk (vs cardboard cow)

READ MORE (Fair Companies) ]

Eggs recalled around the country after Salmonella is found

Eggs are being recalled around the country after a widespread Salmonella outbreak was linked to a farm in Iowa that distributes to wholesalers and distributors who sell the eggs under a variety of supermarket brands, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced.

People have gotten sick from the eggs, but the FDA did not say how many or where. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated the number of those stricken is in the hundreds -- documenting about 200 cases a week in early summer. One estimate of the number of eggs involved exceeds 200 million.

READ MORE (Wallet Pop) ]

 

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