As investigators work to find the official cause of the blast, Lebanon President Michel Aoun said it was fueled by an estimated 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate that was stored unsafely in a warehouse.
ByPramod Acharya, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
The unsolicited packages of seed appear to be coming from China, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA on Tuesday asked the recipients to hold the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until authorities contact them.
ByHeather Schlitz, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
After a state of emergency was declared in the U.S. on March 13, beef production, prices and spread were likely impacted by consumer stockpiling of meat and declining demand from restaurants as take-out and delivery became the only options, according to the report.
ByFrank Hernandez, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
The USDA created the Food Box program to help feed families struggling during the pandemic. A review by the Midwest Center shows that some program contractors were expected to work in a new field or with new products they weren’t used to handling.
BySamuel Trilling, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Covid-19 could hamper the EPA’s ability to inform communities of health risks, according to a report released this month from the agency’s Office of Inspector General. Specifically, the inspector general’s office worried the EPA might not be able to inform residents who live near facilities with emissions that could cause cancer. In a separate report from late March, the office urged EPA to take “prompt action” to inform communities. As of the March report, the EPA and state agencies had not met with or reached out to residents around 16 of the 25 “high-priority” facilities, which are located primarily around cities in the South and Midwest. The June report detailed other concerns, including personnel shortages and cutbacks to routine inspections.
ByJohnathan Hettinger, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has allowed Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta to halt its water monitoring program of a pesticide linked to reproductive issues and cancer that is found in the drinking water of millions of Americans because of COVID-19 restrictions.
As more and more Smithfield workers in South Dakota fell ill with COVID-19, the company's workers at a Missouri plant contended with policies that made social distancing almost impossible, according to an affidavit from a plant worker filed in a lawsuit last week.
BySky Chadde, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, and Kyle Bagenstose USA TODAY |
As coronavirus cases mounted at meatpacking plants this month, the federal government granted 15 poultry processors waivers to cut chickens faster, usually by crowding more workers onto their production lines.