Experts advocate for human rights to a healthy environment

President Trump withdrew this week from the Paris Climate Agreement, a global effort to combat climate change. Earlier this year, Illinois Engagement Reporter Claire Hettinger attended the annual Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment Congress at the University of Illinois. This is what she learned about climate change.

Critics worry about food safety as federal meat inspectors face work overload, burnout

A nine-month investigation by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found dozens of situations at the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service where routine vacancies leave the remaining federal food inspectors vulnerable to burnout, work overload and other job hazards.

In several cases, employees in other roles are oftentimes forced to abandon their own job duties to cover the slaughter line inspections mandated for plants to operate.

On your dinner plate and in your body: The most dangerous pesticide you’ve never heard of

Chlorpyrifos - scientists say there is no acceptable dose to avoid brain damage. Its use is banned in several European countries. Yet its residues are found in fruit baskets, on dinner plates, and in human urine samples from all over Europe. Now producers are pushing for a renewed EU-approval - perhaps in vain.

Opinion: The NCBA needs to lighten up when it comes to cell-based technology

Enter the National Cattlemen's Beef
Association and the highly anticipated joint agreement between the Food and Drug Administration and United States Agriculture Department over oversight of
cell-based meat technology.

The deal – released last month – calls for FDA and USDA to each do what they do best. FDA will regulate cell collection, cell banks, and differentiation.

Opinion: New federal food recall guidelines may improve food safety

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service says in 2018 there have been dozens of recalls involving millions of pounds of sausage, calzones and chicken whatnots contaminated with metal, plastic and other foreign non-food bits of dangerous materials.

Opinion: Jury still out on whether Costco’s chicken experiment will fly

Costco sells its rotisserie chicken at the back of its stores at a loss to lure customers into the story to buy other things. Up until now those chickens by and large have come from Big Ag poultry producers like Tyson, Pilgrims Pride, and Perdue. But Costco is now bringing chicken production in house.

EPA considers change that could handicap states as they struggle to control dicamba damage

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering limiting a regulation states use to protect farmers and residents from plant damage caused by a controversial pesticide known as dicamba. The EPA announced Tuesday it’s re-evaluating how it reviews requests under section 24(c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). States and other local municipalities submit Special Local Needs (SLN) requests to the agency when additional considerations are needed for using a pesticide in a more localized area. In recent years, states have used this to rule to limit the use of dicamba, a chemical that has proven useful in controlling weeds resistant to other pesticides, but that has also damaged trees, non-resistance row crops and other sensitive plants. On March 1, the Illinois Department of Agriculture announced that no dicamba could be applied to soybean fields after June 30.