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Hey, EPA: Don’t mess with my barbecue!

Hey, EPA: Don’t mess with my barbecue!

By Mike Barnett

Backyard barbecues. EPA. Mix the two and what do you get? A pollution study with the potential to kill hot dog and hamburger cookouts. At least that’s how I read it.

Sometimes those not involved in agriculture have a hard time understanding all the fuss Texas farmers and ranchers raise about the environmental agency. For example, a rule now being finalized by EPA could bring regulation of water down to bar ditches and fields—potentially affecting every management practice used by the farmer or rancher. It’s a hard concept to grasp unless it affects you.

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5 beefy reasons lean meat should be in your diet

5 beefy reasons lean meat should be in your diet

By Mike Barnett

So we need to eat less red meat. That’s what the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee says.

That’s a group of “experts” who get together every five years and make recommendations on what Americans should and should not eat. Although there will be a public comment period with an opportunity to change, their conclusions are confusing. And a bit misleading.

The good news is you can drink more coffee, eat more eggs and don’t have to worry much about dietary cholesterol. The bad news is, while they said lean meat can be part of a healthy diet, they recommend eating less of it.

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Biotech is here to stay, in medicine and food

Biotech is here to stay, in medicine and food

By Gene Hall

When we go to the doctor, we tend to listen, aware of the training, knowledge and expertise behind those letters.

“M.D.” We say, “Make me well.”

It would never occur to us to say, “Make me well the way doctors did three generations ago.” Medicine’s come a long way since then.

Biotech research in cows has yielded positive results in changing the properties of milk for human consumption.
It may be possible to cure deadly diseases as a result of similar bovine genome research.

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Food fear could lead to out-of-control labeling

Food fear could lead to out-of-control labeling

By Mike Barnett

Over 80 percent of Americans support “mandatory labels on food containing DNA.”

So says a recent survey conducted by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agriculture Economics, as reported by The Washington Post. And it’s the same numbers that support labeling of GMO foods.

According to Oklahoma State Economist Jayson Lusk, a government-imposed label on foods containing DNA might look something like this:

WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both humans and animals. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children.

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GMO state labeling initiatives are shut out

GMO state labeling initiatives are shut out

By Gene Hall

There were two mandatory labeling issues for GMOs on state ballots Tuesday. Both were defeated.

In Oregon, the labeling measure was barely turned back with a 51 percent “no” vote. In Colorado, it was much more decisive with a 66 percent “no.”

In Hawaii—Maui to be exact—there was a local initiative to ban growing GMO crops altogether. It passed. As yet unexplained is the rationale, because these votes are not based on anything rational. GMO papaya is resistant to ringspot virus, and the non-GMO kind probably can’t be grown there. But hey, that’s someone else’s problem, right?

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Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to food

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to food

By Mike Barnett

A recent post on Facebook explains a lot about the confusion over food.

It’s called ignorance.

Ignorance is not the same as stupidity. People generally are not stupid. But a whole lot of them have a lack of knowledge or information. That’s called ignorance.

This was displayed on a video segment  posted about GMOs on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night television show. In that segment, Kimmel asked people on the street if they wanted GMOs in their food. Then he asked them if they knew what GMO stood for.

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