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[email protected]: U.S. grew fewer acres of GMO crops last year | Carbon credits: a currency to fight climate change?

Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top natural news headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

Acreage for genetically modified crops declines in 2015

Since 1996, farmers have increased their use of genetically modified crops each year, but data from the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications shows that in 2015, that trend came to a halt. Land devoted to GMO crops fell 1 percent from 2014, with the United States remaining the largest grower. Different people have different takes on what might have caused the decline—low commodity prices, an already-saturated market or industry consolidation? Read more at The New York Times…


Farmers are capitalizing on carbon sequestration: How much is your carbon-rich soil worth?

You might be hearing more about “carbon credits” as the fight against climate change ramps up. When polluting companies purchase these credits, the money goes to companies and organizations that have prevented an equal amount of greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere. Several countries and the state of California also have programs that award carbon credits to farms, but the challenge of measuring carbon amounts sequestered is a barrier to growth of these programs. Could a new tool from the USDA help? Read more at Modern Farmer…

Taking cues from human nutrition to reduce antibiotic use in livestock

Here’s how researchers are using probiotics to replace some antibiotics in livestock feed. Read more at NPR…


House bill threatens to gut school nutrition standards, setting up a final showdown

The House Education and Workforce Committee’s new Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill draft would block potential government mandated reductions in sodium in school food and counteract other important progress made in school nutrition. Read more at Forbes…


Disturbing new evidence about what common pesticides can do to brains

Fungicides may be killing more than pathogens on plants, according to new lab research out of the University of North Carolina Neuroscience Center. Researchers tested various chemicals commonly found on food or in the environment on mouse cortical neuron cultures and found that two widely used fungicides triggered changes that may signify developmental or neurodegenerative diseases. Read more at Mother Jones…

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