Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA will be expanding financial credit opportunities for farmers all around the country. This program was put in place to help new farmers gain access to credit without the looming high interest rates that often come from banks or other loans. This program could also really benefit rural veterans who often make their way back to the land to serve our country’s food system.
Scientists in Britain have successfully decoded the entire tomato genome, and have discovered that the small vegetable is a lot more complex than we previously thought. With the new genome mapped, geneticists hope to use the DNA discoveries and physical trait observations to breed better tomatoes in the future.
Michelle Obama’s new book American Grown has hit the shelves, and takes a look at the White House kitchen garden and the First Lady’s struggles to turn it into the successful garden it is today. The book also focuses on America’s gardens and nutrition, and fighting the obesity crisis that is sweeping across our country.
The Senate has overturned an amendment that would have required further research into AquaBounty’s genetically modified salmon. The FDA has given the product preliminary approval, indicating the first GMO animal may soon be on our plates. But many fear that there hasn’t been enough conclusive research into the health risks and impacts on coastal fisheries and ecosystems.
And in related news, the California Right to Know Campaign is gaining some serious traction in the GMO labeling battle. California voters will get the chance to vote this November on a bill that would require that all foods with genetically modified (GM) ingredients are labeled in California. California hopes to set the stage for other states to follow, similar to how they moved forward the overhaul of our egg industry several years ago.
And, just for fun, The Onion has a fake story about Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and his nightmares about corn!