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The turkey ranch in Sonora is where Diestel keeps its pasture-raised birds. Jeanne Cooper

Popular Diestel Turkey Sold at Whole Foods Tests Positive for FDA-Prohibited Drugs

Diestel Turkey, sold by Whole Foods and other retailers at premium prices, says on its website that its "animals are never given hormones, antibiotics or growth stimulants."

But Diestel Turkey samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggest otherwise, leading consumers to wonder: Can these companies be trusted?

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The Arctic Fuji Apple. Okanagan Specialty Fruits

GMO Apples Arriving on U.S. Shelves for First Time

The first commercial harvest of Arctic apples—genetically modified (GMO) apples that don't brown when exposed to air—will arrive in 400 Midwestern grocery stores this month, Bloomberg reported.

The product will be sold as 10-ounce bags of sliced Golden Delicious apples. The bags will not have a clear label saying it is a GMO product. Rather, a customer will only know that the fruit is genetically modified by scanning the bag's QR code with a smartphone, a feature that opponents have shunned.

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Trump Watch
Sam Clovis with Donald Trump in 2015. Jerry Mennenga / ZUMA

The Non-Scientist Trump Chose for USDA Chief Scientist Is Now a 'Cooperative Witness' in Russia Probe

UPDATE: The White House announced Thursday that Sam Clovis has withdrawn himself from consideration for the position of USDA chief scientist amid reports of his role in the Trump campaign's communications with Russian officials.

"We respect Mr. Clovis' decision to withdraw his nomination," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Clovis wrote a letter to the president dated on Tuesday that stated, "I do not want to be a distraction or negative influence, particularly with so much important work left to do for the American people."

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Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock

Alarm Sounded Over Trump's 'Little Noticed' Push to Undermine Food Safety

By Jake Johnson

In what critics are describing as a move to prioritize exports over public health, the Trump administration is quietly planning to transfer work on international food safety standards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) health arm to its brand new trade arm, which is supervised by former animal-drug industry executive Ted McKinney.

Politico's Helena Bottemiller Evich first reported the "little-noticed" plan on Monday. Much of the concern "involves the USDA's staff that manages the U.S.' participation in the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a little-known but powerful standards-setting panel that sits under the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization and is crucial for resolving trade disputes under the WTO," Bottemiller Evich noted.

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iStock

The USDA Is Being Sued for Delaying New Organic Standards

By Dan Nosowitz

When you think of "free-range" chicken, what exactly comes to mind? That question, amazingly enough, is now central to a lawsuit filed against the U.S. government.

This debate centers around the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule. It is essentially an updated and more precise list of rules about how exactly meat, poultry and eggs will be produced if they are to score the coveted "organic" label—and the price increase that comes along with it. But the rule has been delayed and questioned so often in the eight months since it was officially introduced that the Organic Trade Association has resorted to the nuclear option: sue the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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Sam Clovis / YouTube

Is Sam Clovis a Scientist? A Racist? 9 Questions the Senate Should Ask

By Karen Perry Stillerman

Things are not going so well for President Trump's nominee for the position of undersecretary for research, education and economics (REE) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This job has responsibility for scientific integrity at the USDA, as well as oversight of the department's various research arms and multi-billion dollar annual investments in agricultural research and education that are essential to farmers and eaters alike.

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Climate

Trump Administration's Solution to Climate Change: Ban the Term

In a bold new strategy unveiled on Monday in the Guardian, the U.S. Department of Agriculture—guardians of the planet's richest farmlands—has decided to combat the threat of global warming by forbidding the use of the words.

Under guidance from the agency's director of soil health, Bianca Moebius-Clune, a list of phrases to be avoided includes "climate change" and "climate change adaptation," to be replaced by "weather extremes" and "resilience to weather extremes."

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Here's How to Boycott Organic Imposters

By Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins

A recent series of articles by a Washington Post reporter could have some consumers questioning the value of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) organic seal. But are a few bad eggs representative of an entire industry?

Consumers are all for cracking down on the fraudulent few who, with the help of Big Food, big retail chains and questionable certifiers give organics a bad name. But they also want stronger standards, and better enforcement—not a plan to weaken standards to accommodate "Factory Farm Organic."

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Popular
Alex Hanson / Flickr

Trump Nominates Climate-Denying, Conservative Talk Show Host as USDA's Top Scientist

President Trump on Wednesday nominated Sam Clovis, a former economics professor and conservative talk show radio host, to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) top scientific position.

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