The national debate over whether foods that contain ‘genetically modified’ ingredients should be labeled has come to New Hampshire, with a bill in the legislature to require such language on food products- ranging from corn flakes to canola oil. We’re looking the arguments, from questions about health and environmental impacts to the economic costs of labeling.
Dear EarthTalk: I understand that, despite the popularity of organic foods, clothing and other products, organic agriculture is still only practiced on a tiny percentage of land worldwide. What’s getting in the way? -- Larry McFarlane, Boston, MA
Some studies show organic foods to be no healthier and only marginally safer with regard to individual exposure to pesticides than non-organic foods. Nonetheless, choosing organic is a wise "better safe than sorry" strategy which also reduces pollution and conserves water and soil quality.
A recent study found little evidence of health benefits from organic foods, challenging organic’s reputation as the healthy alternative to conventional agribusiness. But others say researchers did find some vital differences around pesticide levels and that the study was too narrow, ignoring vital environmental and ethical reasons for eating organic. Today we'll look at the arguments on both sides.
Eleven million Americans live in areas where concentrations of perchlorate -- a chemical used in the production of rocket fuel, missiles, fireworks, flares and explosives -- are significantly higher in public drinking water supplies than what is considered safe.