Banning the Bag, Juice Warning & Aviation Biofuels

Banning the Bag, Juice Warning & Aviation Biofuels

Banning the Bag, Juice Warning & Aviation Biofuels plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack met with officials from Boeing, Honeywell and United Airlines Friday to discuss the role biofuels will play in addressing the long-term energy needs of commercial airlines and the military. Vilsack says this will expand biofuels use in aviation

VILSACK: We know they are very interested in this because they are confronting greenhouse gas regulations in Europe. We know this fuel will allow them to meet those regulations. We already have a couple airlines that are using biofuels on a pilot basis and we see this as a tremendous opportunity for job growth in rural areas and for additional income opportunities for farmers so we’re going to be working with the commercial aviation industry to make this happen.

We have all heard the paper versus plastic debate and in some parts of the northwest the plastic bag has been banned but a new bill by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon of Burien, would make Washington the first state in the nation to ban the use of plastic grocery bags. Not only would all plastic bags disappear shoppers would be charged a nickel for each paper bag.

The Coca-Cola Co. has alerted the Food and Drug Administration after it discovered via testing its own and competitors' products that some Brazilian growers had sprayed their orange trees with a fungicide that is not approved for use in the U.S. The FDA says the low levels of the fungicide aren't a safety risk but they will increase testing to make sure the contamination isn't a problem.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

In a surprise twist agriculture has received some positive feedback and is finally starting to receive the recognition and kudos it deserves as one of the positive drivers of the country’s economy. Forbes magazine recently ran an article highlighting five regions of the country that are predicted to thrive in 2012, and as a result help to strengthen the nation’s economy. The Agricultural Heartland and the Pacific Northwest are included in those five. Forbes points out that many agricultural and rural areas have a rather low unemployment rate compared to other parts of the country due to the expansion of agribusinesses. In fact, as the rest of the national economy was crumbling here while back with the implosion of the housing market agriculture was one of the few strong points the nation had, and as a whole was thriving. It must be a relief to farmers and ranchers to finally have someone outside of the agriculture industry acknowledge and recognize the importance agriculture has to the economy. Perhaps legislators too will recognize this fact, and not slash agriculture funding to the bone as they seem want to do.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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