Dan Charles appears in the following:
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The Food and Drug Administration Wednesday advised companies to change the labels on their drugs to make it illegal for livestock producers to use drugs for "growth promotion" or "feed efficiency." The announcement is the latest step in a long-running effort by the FDA to reduce the use of antibiotics in agriculture.
Thursday, November 07, 2013
The agency says trans fats, found in partially hydrogenated oils, raise the risk of heart disease. Even though food companies have drastically reduced their use of the oils, you can still find trans fat in microwavable popcorn, Crisco and all kinds of mass-produced baked goods.
Monday, November 04, 2013
There's a curious twist in the contentious debate over feeding antibiotics to animals in order to make them grow faster. Evidence suggests using antibiotics for growth promotion, at least among pigs, doesn't even make economic sense. But some pork producers don't believe it.
Friday, November 01, 2013
When it comes to antibiotics on the farm, it's not always a win-win. And when there's a fight, veterinarians are right in the middle of it, pushed back and forth by conflicting loyalties.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Consumers in search of novelty are turning to once-obscure grains like quinoa, spelt and sorghum. But sorghum's great virtue for farmers is the fact that it can thrive with so little water.
Monday, October 28, 2013
In a new book, billionaire investor Warren Buffett and his son and grandson discuss how to feed a growing planet. "We've been fortunate to make a whole lot more money than anybody can spend intelligently on themselves, so the object is to spend it intelligently on the rest of the world," says the senior Buffett.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Water from the Ogallala Aquifer is withdrawn about six times faster than rain or rivers can recharge it. Now, a group of farmers in one part of northwestern Kansas has agreed to pump 20 percent less water out of the aquifer over the next five years.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
No one knows exactly how farmers use antibiotics. Many public health experts say the government should collect and publish detailed information because antibiotic-resistant bacteria are an increasingly urgent problem. But many farm groups are opposed.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
If Kansas farmers keep pumping water out of the High Plains aquifer as they have in the past, the amount of water they can extract will start to fall in just 10 years or so, scientists predict. That will cause big changes in the agricultural economy. But reducing water use now could help delay and ease that disruption.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Beta agonists, a class of drugs widely fed to cattle and hogs to make them put on weight faster, are coming under increasing scrutiny. Reports suggest animals fed these drugs can seem reluctant to move — lethargic, unable to walk properly — and may die more often, too.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
At a "quinoa summit" this week, farmers from around the world are trading tips on how to turn this ancient Andean grain into a large-scale crop. Some Andean farmers who currently grow quinoa are asking, "What happens to us?"
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Chipotle isn't changing its ban on meat raised with antibiotics after all, despite headlines to the contrary, a spokesman for the Mexican-fast-food chain tells NPR. According to an official statement from Chipotle, the chain's antibiotic ban still stands. For now.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
The rise in urban beekeeping could end up resulting in too many bees with too few flowers to feed on, two U.K. scientists warn. That's already the case in London, where the number of urban hives has doubled over the past five years, they say.
Thursday, August 01, 2013
The Food and Drug Administration recently announced a plan to try and prevent American food companies from importing contaminated produce from abroad. The case of the poisoned pomegranates from Turkey shows that our safety systems for imported food, however helpful, are not foolproof.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
The FDA's new proposal aims to reduce the risk that chickens will pick up salmonella from wildlife and lay contaminated eggs. But some farmers worry that the guidance could make it much harder for them to let their birds range freely on pastures.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Pesticides carry warning labels that spell out health risks and how workers should protect themselves — but those labels are usually in English. More than 80 percent of the workers in the "salad bowls" of Salinas, Calif., or Yuma, Ariz., are Hispanic. Many have difficulty communicating in English.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Government investigators are trying to solve an agricultural whodunit: How did genetically engineered wheat that was never approved for sale end up in a farmer's field in Oregon? Some are raising the possibility of sabotage; others suspect simple human error.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Farmers give antibiotics routinely to pigs, beef cattle and poultry. They say the drugs help keep animals healthy and get them to market faster. Others say this practice practically guarantees that bacteria will develop resistance to these antibiotics more quickly, endangering human lives and the long-term viability of the drugs.
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Across the corn belt, farmers are pulling out all the stops in their war on the corn rootworm. They're returning to chemical pesticides, because the weapons of biotechnology — inserted genes that are supposed to kill the rootworm — aren't working so well anymore.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Promises from big food companies to switch to "cage-free" eggs have set off a supply chain reaction among egg producers. Some producers are adding more cage-free houses to their operations. But scientists are still trying to measure whether cage-free chickens are really better off.