Monthly Archives: July 2007

Food Costs Increase and the Smoke and Mirrors of rbST-Free Milk Marketing Rolls On

Terry Etherton

The latest American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Marketbasket Survey was released in July, 2007. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 basic grocery items in the second quarter of 2007 was $42.95, up about 4 percent or $1.61 from the first quarter of 2007. A total of 82 volunteer shoppers in 32 states participated in the latest survey, conducted during May. Of the 16 items surveyed, 14 increased, one decreased and one stayed the same in average price compared to the 2007 first-quarter survey. Compared to one year ago, the overall cost for the marketbasket items showed an increase of about 8 percent. Regular whole milk showed the largest quarter-to-quarter price increase, up 34 cents to $3.46 per gallon. Continue reading Food Costs Increase and the Smoke and Mirrors of rbST-Free Milk Marketing Rolls On

Science Illiteracy in America

Terry Etherton

Educating the public about the benefits of biotechnology, and the need for investing in research to discover the next generation of science-based products is challenging. Many in the scientific research community have as a top priority to conduct research and publish their findings in a scientific journal. Doing a lot of this is important in order to get the next grant funded so that the scientist can do more research, leading to more publications. It is an interesting cycle: get the research grant funded (which is hard to do), conduct the research, and publish the findings in papers published in peer-reviewed science journals. This creates visibility for the scientist (enhances their brand name) with the goal being to get more grants funded – an important objective for many scientists is to have a LOT of research funding. And then onward to fame! Never mind that a lot of the research conducted is never explained to the taxpayers so they can understand and appreciate what is going on, and why it is important. By the way, taxpayers are footing the bill for all the research supported by federal agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation, among others. Continue reading Science Illiteracy in America

Biotech for Sustainable Agriculture

Harvey Glick
The Economic Times (India)
Published June 19, 2007

In the 1960s, India produced only about 10 million metric tonnes of wheat annually, and crop failures created massive food shortages that required emergency shipments of grain to prevent widespread famine. Today, India produces over 70 million metric tonnes of wheat. This is due in large part to the success of the Green Revolution, based on new genetic improvements of crops combined with efficient use of crop production inputs. Continue reading Biotech for Sustainable Agriculture

Don’t Cry Over rbST Milk

Henry I. Miller
New York Times – June 29, 2007

Stanford, Calif. – MILK occupies a special place in our lives and language. It has been dubbed natures most perfect food, and we speak sentimentally of the land of milk and honey and the milk of human kindness.

But things are turning sour for consumers of milk. The average price of a gallon of milk nationwide is up 37 cents since January, to $3.47. Strong demand and limited ability to increase production quickly are expected to increase prices more, and experts have speculated that the price per gallon could reach a record $5 by years end. High feed costs associated with the ramping up of American corn-based ethanol production are making it difficult to produce more milk. Continue reading Don’t Cry Over rbST Milk