Toxic Chicken: Petition Demands USDA Crack Down on Salmonella

Bucking a rejection by federal food safety officials, a consumer advocacy group is renewing and expanding its fight to ban drug-resistant salmonella bacteria from U.S. meat and poultry. More on this story Read more of our reporting on antibiotics. Sign up to receive the most important food and ag news with the daily FERN Ag… » Read More

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Big Pork Deal Comes Amid Friction Over Livestock Drug

The proposed $4.7 billion sale of Smithfield Foods, America’s largest pork producer, to China’s biggest meat processing company comes amid significant trade friction between the two countries over meat and livestock. More on this story USDA adds voluntary ractopamine guidelines. See the policy impact of this story. Read more of our reporting on antibiotics. China… » Read More

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Livestock Falling Ill in Fracking Regions, Raising Concerns About Food

fracking in a field

Photo: Cattle on the Schilke Ranch in northwestern North Dakota, located on Bakken Shale, courtesy of Jacki Schilke. In the midst of the domestic energy boom, livestock on farms near oil-and-gas drilling operations nationwide have been quietly falling sick and dying. While scientists have yet to isolate cause and effect, many suspect chemicals used in drilling… » Read More

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Crop Insurance a Boon to Farmers – And Insurers, too

Here’s a deal few businesses would refuse: Buy an insurance policy to protect against losses – even falling prices — and the government will foot most of the bill. That’s how crop insurance works. More on this story Read more of our reporting on farms & labor. Read a summary of this story. The program doesn’t just… » Read More

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Farming communities face crisis over nitrate pollution, study says

Nitrate contamination in groundwater from fertilizer and animal manure is severe and getting worse for hundreds of thousands of residents in California’s farming communities, according to a study released today by researchers at UC Davis. Nearly 10 percent of the 2.6 million people living in the Tulare Lake Basin and Salinas Valley might be drinking… » Read More

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Dispute over drug in feed limits U.S. meat exports

Updated on March 23: The FDA on March 14 issued a statement in response to this report, saying it had reviewed its previously published adverse drug effect numbers on ractopamine. After excluding reports of ineffectiveness, meat abnormalities and fertility abnormalities, it said the number of animals with reports of adverse effects was 160,917. The story reflects… » Read More

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