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The Farm Bill Should Help the Planet, Not Just Crops (New York Times)

In a New York Times op-ed, Mark Hertsgaard points out the climate disaster lurking in the pending farm bill: The Farm Bill Should Help the Planet, Not Just Crops

The proposed farm bill — Senate- or House-style, take your pick — would make American agriculture’s climate problem worse, in two ways. Not only would the bill accelerate global warming by encouraging more greenhouse gas emissions, it would make the nation’s farms more vulnerable to the impacts of those emissions.


Both of the farm bill proposals would maintain agriculture’s large climate footprint, mainly by continuing to skew subsidies toward a mere handful of commodity crops....


Farmers can best boost resilience to climate change, scientists say, by improving their soil’s fertility and capacity to retain moisture. That means cutting back on chemical fertilizers, which kill many of the microorganisms that ventilate soil, and shifting to compost and manure fertilizers and crop rotations.

Instead, leading lobbyists for agribusiness want to retain the current production system but shift the mounting climate risks to the taxpayer....

PLU Codes Do Not Indicate Genetically Modified Produce (The Huffington Post)

This myth about PLU codes continues to circulate. While it is true that four-digit codes (NNNN) represent non-organic produce and five-digit codes starting with 9 (9NNNN) mean organic, and it's even true that 8XXXX codes are reserved for GM produce, the fact is that using the 8XXXX codes isn't mandatory and no one does it. The only way to avoid GM produce is to buy organic or look for a "no GMOs" pledge.

More details at The Huffington Post: PLU Codes Do Not Indicate Genetically Modified Produce

Let's put a rumor to rest. No, the 5-digit PLU codes on produce do not tell you what is genetically modified or natural. This urban legend has circulated long enough, even on the best of websites. It's time to take it down.

Interview with John Robbins About His Latest Book "No Happy Cows" presents an interview with activist and best-selling author John Robbins about his latest book, "No Happy Cows: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Food Revolution."

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