Sunday, October 14, 2012

What the Indianapolis Star forgot to tell you about "Big Farms"

Today's Sunday Indianapolis Star's ("IndyStar") lead front page story was titled:  "Big farms pose challenge for state."  The focal point of the story was Chalfant Farms, a 4000 sow Indiana swine farm (or "CAFO" as it is legally defined) that was accused of spilling manure and causing a kill of 107,650 fish in the Mississinewa River.  As someone who routinely defends  farmers against accusations of fish kills, manure spills, and environmental non-compliance, I took a particular interest in this story.  There are some big facts the IndyStar article left out.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Indiana Farmer Takes Monsanto to Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court will hear one Indiana farmer's claim that he is entitled to re-plant Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans that contain Monsanto's patented glyphosate resistant technology.  The Court granted the farmer's petition for appeal (or "certiorari") in Bowman v. Monsanto Company on October 5, 2012.

The farmer, Vernon Bowman, purchased RR soybeans from Pioneer Hi-Bred, which licenses the glyphosate resistant technology under patents from Monsanto.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Melon Farming "Ripe for Litigation"

Today's Indianapolis Star reported on the results of a recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection of Chamberlain Farms, a southern Indiana farm that was believed to be the source of a salmonella outbreak this summer that caused 270 people to get sick, including 101 hospitalizations.  The inspector noted, among other things:
Failure to clean as frequently as necessary to protect against contamination of food:  On 08/14/2012, while cantaloupes were
 being processed, I observed, multiple locations of the conveyor including rollers and belts, had an accumulation of black, green, and brown buildup.  There was an accumulation of debris including trash, wood, food pieces, standing water, mud,  dirt,  and green buildup observed  beneath the  conveyor belt in the cantaloupe packing shed.