A 'multi-million dollar food fight' heats up, plus other recent news coverage

Aug 21, 2012

Alison Van Eenennaam, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis, commented on a KCRA news segment about Proposition 37, an initiative on California's November ballot that, if passed, would require special labeling on products that contain genetically modified ingredients.

The reporters called the proposition a "multi-million dollar food fight."

"All of the data that's come out from the American Medical Association and National Academy of Sciences have all agreed that the food products on the market today that are genetically engineered are safe," Van Eenennaam told the reporter

Polls show the 'Yes on Proposition 37' campaign  is "way ahead" of those who oppose the initiative, "but there's a long way to go until November," the reporter said.

Vision still pays dividends after 150 years
Sacramento Bee editorial

The Sacramento Bee editorial staff called the 1862 Congress of the United States one of the most productive in American history. One of the reason was it's passage of the Morrill Land-Grant College Act July 2, 1862. The act created the world's best system of public colleges and universities for people of modest means, the editorial said. Previously most Americans had no access to higher education. California took up the land-grant offer in 1864 and the University of California was born – at Berkeley – in 1868. Later, the University Farm would become UC Davis. The Citrus Experiment Station would become UC Riverside.

Building a better, tastier tomato
Lauren Sommer, QUEST Northern California, KQED

Lauren Sommer interviewed Ann Powell, associate researcher in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, about her finding that the gene that creates "green shoulders" in tomatoes influences the amount of sugar in the ripe fruit. Powell says now that they know about this gene, plant breeders could put it back in commercial varieties.

Bees need a hand, especially in drought
Debbie Arrington, Sacramento Bee

In honor of National Honeybee Day, the Sacramento Bee paid homage to the indispensable pollinator with information about the challenges it faces. Colony collapse disorder, drought and urbanization take their toll. There was some good news: "Bees got through the winter a little better," said Eric Mussen, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, apiculture. "This spring, we saw bigger, earlier and more swarms." However, nationwide, the hot dry summer has made it a tough year for honey production.

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist