• Biotech reduces farmer suicides

    CHURCHVILLE, VA—The world’s farm pesticide death toll has been cut radically with biotech seeds that carry their own internal pesticide. A new study in India has found that biotech cotton has reduced pesticide spraying by 50 percent, and spraying of the most toxic poisons by 70 percent. The reduced spraying is helping avoid “several million […]

  • More boulders in Africa’s farm path

    CHURCHVILLE, VA—The African Biofortified Sorghum project centered in South Africa, is striving to breed sorghum with extra lysine, vitamin A, iron, and zinc to help millions of African small farmers meet their families’ nutritional needs. The project is funded by the Bill Gates Foundation, collaborating with Du Pont and Pioneer Hi-Bred Seeds. Unfortunately, the project […]

  • E. coli outbreak underscores need for electronic pasteurization

    This week’s headlines: Another huge, awful outbreak of food-borne bacteria. This time the worst in modern history; perhaps 2000 sickened, and more than 20 dead. At least 500 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome. That means liver damage—and potential death from kidney failure. More than 1000 cases of severe diarrhea. Usually it is the very young and the elderly who are most at risk of serious consequences, but this outbreak targeted young adults, mostly women.

  • Organic cucumbers (Sprouts?) kill 14 in Germany

    An outbreak of E-coli contamination in organic cucumbers has sickened 1,200 people and killed 14.  Scores of victims have lost all kidney function as a result of the infection with many forced to use dialysis. Green campaigners routinely attack fruits and vegetables grown and protected using efficient modern methods.  No evidence exists that “organic” foods […]

  • Dusting off the alarmist pollen from biotech debate

    Always trying to come up with new ways to stop the progress of safe, genetically modified foods, some environmentalists are now claiming that the pollen from such plants will “pollute” nearby organic fields. But according to expert Dennis Avery of the Hudson Institute, traces of biotech pollen have practically no effect whatsoever on nearby crops, […]

  • Real life and antibiotic resistance

    The Wall Street Journal recently made a dreadful error in a news story. That’s “dreadful” as in causing consumers to dread the potential loss of the antibiotics we need to cure pneumonia, tuberculosis, and infected scratches.     On January 10, the WSJ online told its readers that America’s hog farmers were overusing antibiotics in their hogs’ […]

  • A safe hamburger at last?

    In the old days, we cooked hamburgers rare, juicy and flavorful. In recent years, because of E. coli 0157:H7, we’ve had to content ourselves with hamburgers that were gray and dry or run the risk of serious illness. E. coli 0157:H7 is the relatively new and vicious “Jack-in-the-Box” bacteria that killed four kids in Seattle in 1993. It was seen first by researchers in the 1980s. Since then, it has killed hundreds and sickened thousands more with bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps, and even liver failure.

  • More biofuels, more greenhouse gases

    CHURCHVILLE, VA—A new study from the University of Illinois estimates that the world has more than 702 million hectares of marginal land suitable for growing biofuels. The researchers assessed land around the world based on its soil quality, slope, and regional climate. They added degraded or low-quality cropland but ruled out any good cropland, pasture, […]

  • Who’s the Real Villain

    by Einar Du Rietz  There are real environmental problems. Not necessarily those threats lazy journalists and politicians demand you to solve, but more often caused by the government. One of the most blatant examples is found in the oceans, in particular those areas controlled by the EU. Millions of Euro are wasted in the incomprehensible […]

  • Krugman flunks food and history

    CHURCHVLLE, VA—Paul Krugman is a big deal: Princeton professor, New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate (2008). Krugman wrote last week about the “food crisis, the second one to hit the world in the last three years.” His key statement: “what really stands out is the extent to which severe weather events have disrupted agricultural […]

  • Have the Greens finally trapped biotech crops?

    CHURCHVILLE, VA—When our new knowledge of DNA permitted genetically modified crops, the environmental movement “flipped out.” Here was a new technology that promised to raise crop yields, protect our food supply from pests, and create a second Green Revolution for “over-populated” places such as Africa and India. The activists believed viscerally that more food would […]

  • The Climate Mystery

    by Einar Du Rietz In the never ending debate on what really triggered WWI, an interesting observation is that August 1914 was one of the warmest months in Europe, during the last century. With no AC, politicians simply went bananas. Naturally, the underlying factors were multiple; trigger happy, sometimes very old, politicians and officers, negligence to […]

  • Is the world food chain stretched to the limit?

    CHURCHVILLE, VA—The cable network MSNBC is warning that the world food chain “has been stretched to the limit” by rising world demand and a series of crop failures in several countries. The TV network’s warning is premature. The U.S., in fact, could ease the current global food price spike with one administrative action—limiting the amount […]

  • India and the next green revolution

    Until recent decades, India was famous for its famines, not its computer industry. India’s dense population and erratic monsoon rainfall put it constantly at food risk—with a crop failure about every seven years. Two crop failures in a row often meant famine and sometimes there were three bad years in a row. During the Great […]

  • When sheep didn’t have wool

    CHURCHVILLE, VA—Today, farmers are accused of “tampering with Nature.” But farmers have been doing such tampering for thousands of years. We had to, for survival. As one dramatic example, wild sheep didn’t have wool. Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep still don’t! Nature gave sheep a long, coarse hair coat instead. In the beginning, the wool […]

  • End the ethanol subsidies

    What am I missing? There must be some aspect of our insane energy policies that I fail to appreciate. “We the People” just booted a boatload of spendthrifts out of Congress, after they helped engineer a $1.3 trillion deficit on America’s FY-2010 budget and balloon our cumulative national debt to $13.7 trillion. The “bipartisan White House […]

  • Muddy rivers: Don’t blame farmers

    CHURCHVILLE, VA—When people hear that I’m an advocate of high yield farming to feed the world and protect the environment, assertions of farm runoff into the rivers are raised to support  charges against modern farming methods. Urban dwellers, even some of my rural neighbors, tell me their concerns about large-scale farming ruining our rivers “because […]

  • Greens realize worth of nuclear energy and GM foods

    The Daily Telegraph reports that green campaigners are abandoning old prejudices and embracing nuclear energy and genetically modified foods. The activists now say that by opposing nuclear power they encouraged the use of polluting coal-fired power stations, while by protesting against GM crops they prevented developing countries from benefiting from a technology that could have […]

  • City farming – pigs in the sky?

    CHURCHVILLE, VA—Green visionary, Dixon Despommier, of Columbia University has proposed growing our food in city high-rises, to cut food transport energy use. The bad news is that city farming would be impossibly expensive—as it always has been. The good news: the high-rise farms will never be built. Another project, the Sky-farm Project was proposed in […]