Furry Intruder Guards the White House Garden
Oct 16, 2013
There’s a fox guarding Michelle Obama’s garden at the White House. Or maybe he’s just seeking refuge from the other critters that inhabit Washington these days. While lawmakers wrangle over the government shutdown and the looming debt ceiling, Michelle’s garden lacks TLC. Eddie Gehman Kohan, the author of the Obama Foodorama blog which chronicles food policy at the White House, reports groundskeepers have been sidelined by the shutdown, and that "pounds and pounds of ripe organic bounty have gone to waste." Kohan says the fox arrived two weeks ago and has been "spotted many times" according to "highly reliable" White House sources. Grist says "thanks to the shutdown animals are running amok" at the White House. Others might argue that that was true before the shutdown.
Damning News for Anti-GMO Activists in Europe
Some days the voices of reason just simmer to the top. For instance, Ann Glover, the EU’s chief scientific advisor says European countries should "rethink" their rejection of GMOs. Glover supports a new report from the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) that warns of "grave scientific, economic and social consequences of the current European Union policy towards GM crops." The report also refutes some of the claims of the anti-GMO activists with statements such as: "The scientific literature shows no compelling evidence to associate such (GM) crops, now cultivated worldwide for more than 15 years, with risks to the environment or with safety hazards for food."
Missiles for Milk?
With a $100 million debt for imported dairy products and no cash on hand, Russia resorted to the barter system in 1993. According to a new book, after the collapse of the Soviet Union the country offered a pair of fighter jets and a nuclear submarine to New Zealand to settle its milk debt. Not a good offer, since New Zealand is a nuclear-free zone. The book, "Till the Cows Came Home," was written by Clive Lind, who describes the New Zealand officials as "stunned" by Russian offer.
Ethanol Does Not Reduce Gas Prices
Depending on your perspective (or maybe the number of acres of corn you raise), ethanol has either been a boon or a bust to your business. The debate about ethanol is far from settled, but a new report by an MIT economist seeks to rebut the claim, broadly aired over the past couple of years, that widespread use of ethanol has reduced the wholesale cost of gasoline by $0.89 to $1.09 per gallon. Whatever the benefits or drawbacks of ethanol, MIT's Christopher Knittel says, price issues are not among them right now.