EPA takes steps to allow continued use of pesticides linked to cancer, brain development issues in children

The Trump administration in recent days took steps toward continuing to allow the use of two popular pesticides linked to developmental issues in children. In both cases, the agency weakened its metrics for assessing human health protections. On Sept. 18, the EPA approved the continued use of atrazine, the second most commonly sprayed herbicide in the United States. Atrazine, whose main manufacturer is Syngenta, is banned in more than 35 countries, including the European Union, because of its links to human health, which include reproductive issues, an increased chance of birth defects, a loss of fertility in men and a potential to cause cancer.

Trump administration launches second round of coronavirus money to farmers as critics question long-term impact

“He took actions that cost U.S. farmers a lot of money, and potentially have a lot of long-term downsides,” said Joseph Glauber, a former USDA Chief Economist and senior research fellow at the International Food Research Center. “But you can have as bad of policy as you want, if you can silence the critics by giving them a bunch of money.”

Meat and shopping: One more impact of the coronavirus on ordinary life

It began in mid-March when the new coronavirus became part of ordinary American life with shortages of household products like hand sanitizer, toilet paper and paper towels. Now, as May has turned to June, scarcity – and the fear of it -- is all about the meat.

As of June 6, there have been at least 20,400 reported positive cases tied to meatpacking facilities in at least 216 plants in 33 states, and at least 74 reported worker deaths, according to a Midwest Center analysis.

For years, complaints about North Carolina’s hog pollution vanished in state bureaucracy

Now officials are posting the complaints online. What changed? This story was originally published on The Guardian. It is not for republication. In September 2016, with Tropical Storm Hermine bearing down on North Carolina, Kemp Burdette rented a single-engine plane and flew over Duplin County.

We’re partnering with agricultural communities to measure pesticide drift

If you live in central Illinois, you may have spotted a small, dome-like device that resembles a flying saucer along a fence or in a neighbor’s backyard. Those devices are air samplers, specifically designed to measure pesticide drift. We’ve placed four samplers in agricultural communities to learn more about what chemicals, if any, might be drifting from corn and soybean fields onto nearby backyards, school grounds and parks as spraying gets underway this spring. We have also placed a sampler near our office in Champaign to serve as a control. Below, you will find more information about how this project will contribute to our reporting, how the community helped determine the locations of the samplers and exactly how the samplers work.