Residents Seek Answers About Health Risks Near Frac Sand Mines

When Jim and Kathy Kachel moved into their home south of Bagley, Wisconsin, overlooking the Mississippi River in fall 2007, they couldn’t see the Pattison Sand Mine directly across the river in Clayton, Iowa. Since then, terraced layers of limestone carved into the northeast Iowa bluff have made way for more truck traffic as the mine, which occupies 750 acres — much of it underground — expands. Meanwhile, the Kachels have had to clean dust from their home.

ICYMI: Bayer stock plunges after glyphosate ruling, kale high in pesticides, gene-edited food on your plate

A roundup of news, reports and research on agribusiness and related issues. 

Scientists Found Worrisome New Evidence About RoundUp and Cancer | Mother Jones

The debate continues on whether glyphosate, one of the most commonly used herbicides and key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, causes cancer. A trial in San Francisco held closing arguments on March 12 in a case against Bayer, the company who purchased Monsanto. The jury ruled Tuesday that glyphosate weedkiller, sold as RoundUp, caused cancer. The next phase of the trial will gauge Monsanto's, now owned by Bayer, liability. Meanwhile, Bayer's stock dropped after this week's court ruling.

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.

USDA Strengthens Partnerships and Protections to Keep African Swine Fever Out of the Country

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced additional steps to keep African swine fever (ASF) from entering the United States, even as the disease spreads internationally. These steps strengthen the protections announced last fall after the deadly swine disease reached China. The goal remains to protect our nation's swine industry from this disease. ASF does not affect people, nor is it a food safety issue.

Opinion: Court gets it right in striking down Iowa ag-gag law

At some farming operation in Iowa animal activists may legally be running an undercover sting operation to reveal inhuman treatment of animals. That's because last month the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, and senior Judge James Gritzner, threw out a 2012 Iowa law that made it a crime for people to gain access to agricultural facilities by “false pretense.”

Opinion: Supreme Court needs to rule in favor of SNAP data transparency

The Food Marketing Institute is trying to conceal how taxpayer dollars are being spent by recipients of the Supplemental Food Assistance Program. To date it’s been an almost eight-year court battle between South Dakota's Argus Leader newspaper and USDA and FMI.