In 2016, Congress passed a law requiring labeling of bioengineered food products, more commonly known as Genetically Modified Organism or GMO food products. Many believe this mandatory labeling requirement is unconstitutional. The reason for this belief, surprisingly, derives from a 2015 Supreme Court case regarding road signage in Arizona.
Meet Sam Girod: An Amish man and father of twelve from Bath County, Kentucky. Girod produces various forms of salves (i.e., products used to heal and protect the skin) out of his home in Bath County. Girod sold his “Chickweed Salve” out of his home and in small convenience stores in Kentucky and Missouri. In 2013, Girod was reported to authorities in Missouri, leading to an injunction being ordered by a federal judge and the involvement of authorities in Kentucky. Of particular concern was Girod’s “Chickweed Salve,” containing natural ingredients such as rosemary, beeswax, and olive oil.
In June of 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published new definitions in the Federal Register, redefining the “waters of the United States.” One of the new definitions expands the traditional meaning of “navigable waters” from exclusively large bodies of water that facilitated interstate commerce to almost any body of water found in the United States, including small creeks and farm ponds. This has led to a large uproar across the country with numerous organizations challenging the new regulation, implemented with no Congressional oversight.
In sunny southern California there sits a 401 acre parcel of land that has been a subject of controversy for at least four years. This parcel of land is prime waterfront real estate near West Newport Beach that served as an active oilfield for some time. This tract of land also plays host to Native American archeological sites, and serves as a habitat for several rare and sensitive animals species, including the burrowing owl, the California Gnatcatcher, and the endangered San Diego Fairy shrimp. The parcel is now considered an ‘eye sore’ on the coastline, and recent development proposals may be slated to change this – if the plans can ever get approval.
When you think of bees, what comes to mind? Many might think of honey. Others might think of the sight of a bee landing on a newly bloomed spring flower. Few think of the bee as a pivotal player in the agricultural world. However, that is precisely what the bee is: a necessary player in the production of the world’s food supply.