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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Kentucky' Category


Bat Killing Fungus Spreads West

(Beyond Pesticides, February 15, 2013) Bats around the U.S. are being decimated by White Nose Syndrome (WNS). The deadly disease was detected recently at Kentucky’s Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, according to the National Park Service. Based on laboratory testing, three bats were discovered with WNS, coming from three separate caves in the park. The cold-loving fungus thrives on hibernating bats, spreading in 2006 from a cave in New York State to 21 other states in the East and Midwest. In 19 of these states there have been confirmed cases of WNS, not including detections in four Canadian Provinces (see map).  White nose syndrome is usually transmitted bat-to-bat, although the spore can also spread through human clothing, shoes or gear. The fungus causing WNS, Geomyces destructan, is extremely lethal to hibernating bats–though posing no health threats to humans, pets, or other animals– killing 90% of bats where the fungus had persisted for a year or more, totaling 5.8 million bat deaths since 2006. There are six species of cave-dwelling bats that are susceptible to WNS, including the endangered Indiana bat. There are also three species of tree-dwelling bats in the parks, but these are less at risk for contamination as […]



Judge Halts GE Crops on Southeastern Wildlife Refuges

(Beyond Pesticides, October 25, 2012) In stark contrast with last week’s decision in the midwest, a federal court ruled in favor of halting cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) crops in all national wildlife refuges in the Southeastern U.S. on Tuesday. The suit, filed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), Center for Food Safety (CFS), and Beyond Pesticides, is a part of a series of legal actions taken against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services (FWS) for entering into cooperative farming agreements for GE crops on wildlife refuge sites without the environmental review required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and refuge management laws. This latest ruling bars FWS from entering into cooperative farming agreements for GE crops on the 128 refuges across eight states, including the 25 refuges currently growing GE crops. The requirement of environmental reviews will likely prevent the planting of crops in 2013 and 2014, and may result in a permanent end to the practice, as native successional grasses reclaim fallow refuge tracts. This ruling is the third in a series of victories against FWS. In March 2009, the same groups won a similar lawsuit against GE plantings on Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. In […]



New Studies Dispel Myth of Organic ‘Elitism’

(Beyond Pesticides, November 10, 2011) Two new studies released last week add further proof that the popularity of organic food is not just an elitist trend. One report by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), The 2011 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study, finds that 78 percent of U.S. families purchase organic food. Another study by SCALE, Inc. finds that organic food is generally cheaper at farmers markets than at grocery stores in Southeast U.S. OTA partnered with KIWI Magazine, and polled nearly 1,300 U.S. families about their attitudes and behaviors relating to organic food. The total sample reflects the target population of U.S. households with a confidence interval of +/-3% at the 95% confidence level. This is the third year the study has been conducted. According to OTA, it contains in-depth information about organic consumers’ demographics, purchase motivation, understanding of organic, willingness to substitute when organic is not available, and attitudes about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The other study, Is Local Food Affordable for Ordinary Folks?, compares farmers markets and supermarkets throughout 19 different communities in six Southeast states, including Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina. Though the study focuses on local foods, it did […]