Dan Charles appears in the following:
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
The prize is sometimes called the "Nobel Prize for food and agriculture." And this year's winners include Monsanto executive Robert Fraley, a pioneer in genetically engineered crops. If there's a single person who personifies the company's controversial role in American agriculture, it's probably Fraley.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Monsanto has said that it won't sue anyone for accidentally growing trace amounts of its patented crops. Now, that promise is legally binding, a federal appeals court says.
Friday, May 31, 2013
Would you like to know the life history of that steak before you eat it? Technology exists to give you that information, at least in Michigan, where the state government requires all cattle to carry an electronic tag for tracking purposes.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
An Oregon farmer discovered the genetically engineered wheat growing in his field about a month ago. Nobody knows how it got there, how widely it has spread, or whether it has been in fields harvested for food. GMO wheat is not approved for sale in the U.S.
Monday, May 27, 2013
Hungary loves its sour cherries the way some countries love their wines. And after World War II, Hungarian scientists scoured the country to find the tree with the tastiest fruit. Thanks to a passionate scientist, this tree, the Balaton, made its way stateside.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
As Congress gets to work on the farm bill, two common-sense, bipartisan reform measures seem to have gotten run over somewhere along the way. The first would set minimum standards for housing egg-laying chickens. The second sought to change how the U.S. provides food aid to people in foreign nations.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
The number of honeybees has now dwindled to the point where there may not be enough to pollinate some major U.S. crops, including almonds, blueberries and apples. And this year brought farmers closer than ever to a true pollination crisis.
Friday, May 03, 2013
An economist wanted to find out why some farmers in the developing world were abandoning a new way of growing rice that increases yields while reducing the need for seeds and water. He found that even while their rice fields were more productive, their household income didn't go up.
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Corn and soybean farmers not only survived last year's epic drought — thanks to crop insurance, they made bigger profits than they would have in a normal year, a new analysis finds. And a big chunk of those profits were provided through taxpayer subsidies.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Today's commercial coffee production is based on only a tiny slice of the genetic varieties that have grown since prehistoric times. And that's a problem, because it leaves the world's coffee supply vulnerable to shocks like climate change, or the leaf rust currently ravaging Latin American coffee farms.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
It doesn't take much effort to find bags of coffee with labels that promise social and environmental improvements. But each one of these certification programs promises something different for the farmer and the land — and every promise involves some compromises.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Coffee is social stimulant, solitary pleasure, intellectual catalyst. It also connects us to far corners of the globe. From small specialty farms in Guatemala to large, industrial operations in Brazil and unexpected corners of the world, like Vietnam, the world's morning cup of joe makes quite a journey.
Friday, April 19, 2013
This week's explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. plant in Texas reminds us of the "cursed" side of the nitrogen that powers most of agriculture around the world. Through habit or necessity, we've come to depend on it. But there are costs.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The change that may matter most for the proposal's chances of success, though, is purely bureaucratic. The White House wants foreign food aid to be funded through the U.S. Agency for International Development instead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Rumors abound of a major shakeup in the works for U.S. food aid programs. The U.S. would give aid groups money to buy food wherever they could get it cheapest and quickest, rather than shipping abroad commodities bought in the U.S. Already, groups that profit from the current system are mounting a fight.
Friday, March 29, 2013
Hidden inside the massive federal budget that President Obama signed on Thursday is a small paragraph that has infuriated opponents of genetically-engineered crops. The provision is designed to protect those crops from court challenges. Audie Cornish talks to Dan Charles for more.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Neonicotinoids are pesticides widely used to coat the seeds of agricultural plants, especially corn. But some evidence suggests these chemicals may also be poisoning bees. A tell-tale clue: reports of massive bee die-offs that all took place during corn-planting season.
Friday, March 08, 2013
Two giant honey packers have admitted to buying millions of dollars in mislabeled honey from China. Honey industry insiders have long suspected this misuse, but it's the first time any U.S. packer has admitted to it.
Thursday, March 07, 2013
A rice enriched with beta-carotene promises to boost the health of poor children around the world. But critics say golden rice is also a clever PR move for a biotech industry driven by profits, not humanitarianism.
Friday, March 01, 2013
When it comes to pollinating our favorite crops — from coffee to watermelon — honeybees can't do it alone. Wild bees in the field play a critical role in creating bumper crops, a massive new study reports. But these bees are disappearing, and scientists say the rise of crop monocultures is partly to blame.