‘We don’t have a day to waste’ on climate mitigation, says Vilsack

U.S. agriculture faces a triple imperative — market, environment, and income — in responding to climate change, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday, his first day on the job. "We don't have a day to waste on this," he told reporters while indicating that the USDA will move at deliberate speed to identify and support successful mitigation practices.

House appropriators open the door to horse slaughter

The long-running ban on horse slaughter in the United States, a rider on the annual USDA-FDA funding bill, would end on Sept. 30 under a vote by the House Appropriations Committee. Before clearing the bill for a floor vote, the committee refused, 27-25, to include the provision in the $145 billion funding bill for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.

Almost no money spent studying the effects of pesticides on the environment

Little research and scant funding is directed toward the ecological impacts of pesticides, says a new report published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. “Fewer than 1 percent of published ecological studies over the past 25 years mentioned synthetic chemicals, according to the researchers, who looked at papers in 20 mainstream ecology journals,” said Ensia.