After Harvey, confusion abounds regarding food crop safety

Is it safe? Historic flooding in Texas after Hurricane Harvey has raised questions about food crops touched by flood waters, which the FDA says are not safe to eat. Some farmers argue that guidance is too broad. In fact, no one knows Read More …

Longer flowering season is…bad for bees?

There are fewer blooms for bees: Today in weird climate change news, it looks like a longer flowering season isn’t necessarily a better one. According to North Carolina State University scientists referencing 40 years’ worth of climate data, plants are producing Read More …

Puerto Rico: Food and water concerns looming

Power may be out for months: Hurricane Maria’s impact on Puerto Rico will be a continuing story as food security and water safety issues come into focus in coming weeks. The U.S. territory may be without power for months after the island Read More …

Contact with floodwaters poses infection risks

Dirty floodwaters can lead to public health disasters: In the coming weeks and even months, residents of Houston and other parts of southern Texas hit hard by Hurricane Harvey will be faced with the public health disasters that can result from Read More …

Harvey could disrupt refineries, cause fuel price increases

Some 30 refineries are in danger zone: A hurricane barreling toward Texas threatens to disrupt operations at refineries along the Gulf Coast, potentially throwing a wrench into fuel supplies and driving up prices. Severe flooding can cause refining units to shut down Read More …

That will be $2,500 for a pound of meat, thank you

But hopeful investors include Cargill, Bill Gates: Memphis Meats Inc. – a company that has developed beef, chicken, and duck protein from animal cells – has completed a new round of financing that includes as investors Cargill Inc. and Microsoft founder Read More …

BSE report leads Korea to tighten quarantine checks

An excuse to increase trade barriers? South Korea has tightened its quarantine checks on U.S. beef imports after USDA’s announcement that an atypical case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in Alabama. The diagnosis of BSE in an 11-year-old animal in Read More …

Detection of cow with BSE shows success of Alabama’s surveillance program

An 11-year-old Alabama beef cow was recently diagnosed with atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), widely known as “mad cow disease,” the USDA and Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries announced yesterday. But there’s no reason for panic, according to Soren Read More …

Will rising Gulf temps mean more ‘flesh-eating bacteria’?

  Vibrio vulnificus thrives in warm water: Three cases of a deadly flesh-eating bacteria have been confirmed recently in Mobile County, Ala., two from going into Gulf of Mexico waters with open wounds and one from eating raw oysters. The common Read More …

Fake news and ‘weaponized words’

During Korean war, ‘fake news’ likely increased intensity of conflict: Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of plague. This important article provides an interesting historical review of the pathogen being used as a biological weapon. Perhaps most pertinent to the current Read More …