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potato plants in field

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved commercial planting of a potato that is genetically modified to resist bruising and to produce less of a chemical that has caused cancer in animals.

Boise, Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co. developed the potato, and it was approved by the USDA Friday.

Simplot is a major supplier of french fries, hash browns and other potato products for restaurant chains like McDonald’s Corp.

The company altered the potato’s DNA so it produces less acrylamide, which is suspected to be a human carcinogen. Potatoes naturally produce the chemical when they’re cooked at high temperatures.

The potato is also engineered to resist bruising, which can cause black spots in the potatoes, making them less desirable to buyers.

The USDA has approved genetically modified forms of many other crops, including corn and soybeans.

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wine trails of west virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – It can be pretty challenging to get a room full of adults of all ages and from all walks of life to agree on much of anything. But getting them to agree enthusiastically is the stuff of which dreams are fulfilled. On a recent afternoon, winemakers and distillery producers in the western…

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honey bees on honeycomb

The Honey Bee Health Coalition, a coalition comprised of more than 30 organizations and agencies from across food, agriculture, government and conservation, released Bee Healthy, a roadmap to improve honey bee health, last week. The roadmap’s focus is collective action that will accomplish more than any one group can achieve on its own to address the…

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field of pumpkins
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia agriculture officials say the state’s pumpkin growers are reporting an abundant crop this year. To promote the important crop, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says Gov. Terry McAuliffe has proclaimed October as “Virginia Pumpkin Month.” According to the Virginia Pumpkin Growers’ Association, the state is home to about 200…

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As the market for legal weed has blossomed in some states, so too has the use of rat poison on pot farms deep in the western woods, to keep rodents away from the aromatic plants. These are the same woods where a rare cat-sized mammal called the fisher lives in the cavities of trees and feeds…

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tractor in front of red barn
ALPHARETTA, Ga., Sept. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Forward thinking is what makes Basecamp Networks stand out from the rest. Basecamp Network’s mantra of “Changing the idea of work”, has started with the most important industry in the world; agriculture. Known as one of the most technologically advanced industries, agriculture is expected to grow upwards of 70%…

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tomatoes at market
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday it is dedicating more than $52 million to funding five grant programs to boost the nation’s organic industry as well as its local and regional food systems and markets. The move comes as consumers have become unprecedentedly aware of the provenance of their food as well as the conditions…

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ST. LEO, Kan. (AP) – The sign that graces the entrance of Kevin and Mary Ford’s farmhouse ushers visitors inside: “Let all guests be welcomed as Christ.” Except, that is, for the grasshoppers. Part of a disassembled greenhouse leans against the red barn. Acres that should be potato plants are bare. Fruit trees planted in the…

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apples on tree
WASHINGTON — With the harvest underway, Jon Alegria figures he’ll pack more than 400 million apples from this year’s crop by mid-November, relying on a widely used chemical to keep them looking fresh for months. Before sending them to warehouses, Alegria will coat roughly half of his apples with diphenylamine, or DPA, to prevent scald that…

Europeans have little appetite for US apples

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Chicken Antibiotics
(Reuters) – Two U.S. lawmakers are calling for action to rein in antibiotic use in livestock in response to a Reuters investigation showing how top U.S. poultry firms have been administering drugs to their flocks. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-NY), said she plans to introduce new legislation authorizing the Food and Drug Administration to collect data…

U.S. Lawmakers Want To Curb Antibiotic Use On Farms