Environmental Working Group

In Minnesota, study finds drinking water tainted with nitrates

Hundreds of thousands of Minnesota residents are drinking water contaminated with elevated levels of nitrate, according to a new analysis from the Environmental Working Group. The state is rolling out new rules to regulate nitrogen fertilizer application and protect groundwater, but advocates say they may not go far enough to keep residents safe.

One in four members on Trump ag panel got trade war money

Heading into the 2016 presidential election, then-candidate Donald Trump formed a 64-member Agriculture and Rural Advisory Committee. On Wednesday, the Environmental Working Group reported that 15 members of that committee have received a combined $2.2 million in Trump tariff payments.

‘City slickers’ get Trump tariff payments

More than 9,000 people living in the largest U.S. cities received thousands of dollars in Trump tariff payments intended to mitigate the impact of the trade war on U.S. agriculture, said the Environmental Working Group on Thursday.

Algae blooms linked to agricultural runoff choke waterways nationwide, says report

A new analysis from the Environmental Working Group reveals that state and federal testing of lakes and other bodies of water has found toxins from algae blooms in waterways in 48 states. The toxins, which sometimes make their way into drinking water supplies, can cause negative health outcomes ranging from skin rashes to serious illness or death.

Many water wells in Iowa tainted by farm runoff, report finds

More than 40 percent of private wells tested positive for coliform bacteria at least once over a 16-year period, according to a new study of Iowa state records by the Environmental Working Group and the Iowa Environmental Council.

EWG counts 32 lawmakers who received farm subsidies

Although only a couple of members of Congress are known as active farmers, 32 current lawmakers have received farm subsidies, according to the Environmental Working Group database.

Trump victory throws cold water on expanded farm stewardship

The election of Donald Trump means that environmentalists can forget about new, broader rules on land and water stewardship by farmers, said a prominent Republican farm leader. "Those new regulations are not going to happen," said Chuck Conner, who added that the 2018 farm bill would continue the system of incentives for voluntary action against erosion and polluted runoff.

EWG says U.S. farmers feed the (developed) world

A refrain among U.S. farmers and processors is that bountiful America helps feed a hungry world with a population forecast to increase by one-third, to 9.7 billion people, by mid-century. The actuality is that U.S. farm exports "go to countries that can afford to pay for them," and less than 1 percent go to the world's hungriest nations, says the Environmental Working Group.

EWG: U.S. needs stronger, more focused conservation program

Voluntary soil and water conservation programs "aren't leading to clean water, clean air and a healthy environment," says the Environmental Working Group in unveiling a database that tracks federal conservation spending to the county level. EWG says Congress should require farmers to perform more stewardship work in exchange for farm supports, and focus scattershot conservation programs on the practices with the greatest payoff in the areas with the greatest need.

EPA: Widely used weedkiller atrazine is risk to birds, mammals, fish

The second-most widely used weedkiller in the country, atrazine, poses potential chronic risk to birds, mammals and fish due to runoff and spray drift, said a draft ecological-risk assessment by the EPA. The assessment is part of a review that started in 2013 on whether to extend use of the broad-spectrum herbicide in the U.S. for 15 years.

‘Ignore the subsidy lobby,’ says EWG in review of farm economy

"There's a lot of doom and gloom in the air about the state of the farm economy," says a report by the Environmental Working Group, and much of it is a campaign for larger crop subsidies. "The farm subsidy lobby has been working overtime to sue what it calls a 'farm crisis' to deflect well-deserved criticism of the fatally flawed federal subsidy program that they're desperate to protect."

Strawberries top EWG’s ‘Dirty Dozen’

If there’s one fruit to be wary of its conventional strawberries, says the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which put the fruit at the top of its annual "Dirty Dozen" ranking.

Buffer strips should be mandatory, says EWG

Landowners should be required to keep a 50-foot-wide buffer strip of permanent vegetation between cropland and waterways, said the Environmental Working Group, which proposed four "basic standards of care" to control agricultural runoff.

House bill expected this week to pre-empt state GMO labels

Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo is expected to file a new version this week of his bill to pre-empt state laws that require labels on food made with genetically modified organisms, according to reports by Agri-Pulse and Politico. The bill would include language allowing the USDA to certify foods to be sold with a non-GMO label. Food companies that use the non-GMO label "would be barred from suggesting 'either expressly or by implication' that their products are safer than biotech versions," says Agri-Pulse.

Widely used herbicide glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic”

The herbicide glyphosate, widely used in U.S. crop production, especially for genetically engineered corn and soybeans, is "probably carcinogenic to humans," says the specialized cancer agency of the UN World Health Organization. The herbicide is known under the brand name RoundUp in the United States. The International Agency for Research on Cancer reviewed glyphosate and four other organophosates on the recommendation of an advisory committee that dozens of pesticides should be examined because...

Bitter battle over listing “added sugars” on food packages

Foodmakers are in "a lobbying frenzy" over the administration's proposal to have the Nutrition Facts label on food packages include how much sugar was added during processing, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Deficit hawks join Flake in pushing for crop insurance reform

A dozen conservative groups and the Environmental Working Group are backing proposals in Congress to eliminate premium subsidies for the Harvest Price Option in crop insurance.

Buffer strips would help Iowa curb nutrient runoff – EWG

If Iowa farmers plant buffer strips alongside waterways, they "could get two-thirds of the way to the state’s goal for reducing phosphorus pollution and one-fifth of the way to the nitrogen pollution target," says a report by the Environmental Working Group.

Vermont GMO labeling contest comes to national stage

Assistant House Majority Leader Kate Webb, a sponsor of Vermont's GMO food labeling law, is scheduled to testify at a House subcommittee hearing on federal regulation of the foods on Wednesday.

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