August 5, 1999 |
The Senate on Wednesday approved $7.4 billion in assistance for farmers hurt by depressed crop prices, setting the stage for negotiations with the House. Democrats and some farm-state Republicans wanted more money, including special assistance for Eastern growers who are suffering through one of the region's worst droughts this century. GOP leaders beat back several attempts to fatten the package, but they signaled their willingness to consider adding money later, during talks with the House.
August 4, 1999 |
The Senate on Tuesday rejected a Democrat-backed $11-billion bailout of the farm economy in favor of a smaller Republican package. But lawmakers said they hoped to work out a bipartisan compromise later this week. "There's bipartisan recognition that there's a disaster out there," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). The Republican-controlled Senate defeated the Democratic plan, 54 to 44, after Democrats, in a 51-47 vote, narrowly failed to kill the $7-billion GOP emergency farm package.
July 25, 1999 |
The pictures this time are not of drought--no land baked dry, no crops seared black. There are no pictures, either, of flood. But disaster has struck here nonetheless. It's taken the form of bounty. Call it the paradox of plenty: Crops are so good throughout much of the heartland that farmers are in crisis. Supply is up, not only in the U.S. but around the world. Demand is down, especially overseas. So prices for wheat and corn and soybeans have tumbled into catastrophe. It's that simple.
June 18, 1999 |
Underscoring concern over the growing use of genetically engineered ingredients in processed foods, the environmental group Greenpeace released a study Thursday that shows three top baby food and nutritional products contain DNA from genetically engineered corn and soybeans. The study of eight popular products taken from grocery shelves earlier this year is part of a larger campaign by environmentalists and consumer groups to persuade lawmakers and the U.S.
May 31, 1999 |
Trace a simple stalk of celery back to its raw roots and you get a lesson in how diesel fuels America's economy. Before it winds up in a grocer's bin and is sliced into a salad, every step of the way--from field to kitchen--celery grown at A.G. Kawamura's farm in Irvine is touched by dozens of machines, all powered by diesel. First, tractors and plows prepare the rough land. Seedlings arrive by truck and are planted by machine. Fertilizer is sprayed, water is pumped; diesel provides the power.
April 29, 1999 |
The White House abandoned a major economic weapon against renegade nations Wednesday and said the United States would no longer restrict their purchase of American food, medicine and medical supplies. The announcement marks a major departure in U.S. economic, foreign and farm policy. As a result, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea and Sudan could eventually gain access to U.S. supplies, which have been largely off limits.
April 15, 1999 |
A federal judge on Wednesday approved a $2-billion settlement between the U.S. Agriculture Department and black farmers, calling it a fair way to end decades of discrimination in farm loans and aid. Under the settlement, each farmer will receive a tax-free cash payment of about $50,000 and erase debts to the USDA. On average, farmers involved in the case owe $75,000 to $100,000.
March 14, 1999 |
The video whirs, and an American food exporter's nightmare rolls across the screen. A potato bug is shown munching on the deep green leaf of a potato plant--genetically engineered in the United States, the narrator says, to produce a toxin that kills Colorado potato bug larvae. The bug falls off the leaf, flailing its legs in the air in what looks like insect agony. "They say this is safe, but I don't want to eat it. Do you?" asked the filmmaker, Junichi Kowaka, in an interview.
March 10, 1999 |
America's largest and heaviest-polluting "factory farms" will be required to obtain federal pollution discharge permits under regulations announced Tuesday by the Clinton administration. The permit system is aimed at arresting a growing problem of water pollution caused by runoff of manure from huge farms where thousands of cows, chickens or pigs are raised.
March 2, 1999 |
"Is that a wool sweater?" Craig Hoogestraat asks. "You might want to take it off. The smell gets in there and it won't get out." His dad, Don, interrupts: "Your hair. Do you have something to cover it? The smell can get to it real quick too." They're right. The smell is intense. It carries the tang of urine and the throat-clogging warmth of manure, but it is above all a meaty smell, earthy, dense and very strong.