Weekend Quick Bites
•Civil Eats' Paula Crossfield breaks down Gannett's absurd decision to lay off the last D.C. beat reporter covering ag policy: Phil Brasher, former mainstay of the Gannett-owned Des Moines Register. This is what you get when newspapers are owned by faceless corporations, not community members. The move is even more absurd given that we're moving into a presidential election and negotiations over the 2012 Farm Bill.
• HuffPo's Lucia Graves goes long on the suspicion that Roundup, Monsanto's flagship herbicide, is linked to birth defects. This is an explosive story. Roundup rains down on millions of acres of farmland each year. I'll have more to say next week.
• On Pesticide Action Network's Ground Truth blog, Kathleen Schafer delivers the latest on a more definitive herbicide-birth defect link: the one involving Syngenta's atrazine.
• This week, I wrote about how my esteemed representative to the US Congress, Virginia Foxx, had taken a break from bashing gays and immigrants to try to stamp out the progressive wing of Obama's USDA. Turns out, she's even busier than I thought—in debate over the same House bill she managed to use as a club to pummel the USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, Foxx essentially tried to do away with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), reports belmontmedina of Postbourgie. Classy! Belmontmedina notes that "half of all American infants and about a quarter of kids under 4 have participated in WIC," and that "every dollar spent saves three in health care costs during the first 2 months of a child's life."