A sign hangs at a rally Friday July 1, 2016 in Montpelier, Vt., protesting a proposal by Congress that would allow companies to use computer labels to indicated whether a product has been made with the help of genetic engineering.
Wilson Ring/Assocated Press
July 20, 2016

Cong. Davis: GMO Labeling Measure Was Best Solution

Republican Congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville said he reluctatly supported a GMO food labeling measure as the clock winded down on Congress last week. This measure, which President Obama is expected to sign, would pre-empt other state laws, including one out of Vermont that Davis calls 'unscientifically based', and meant solely to boost the state's economy.


Vintage cow shaped creamer
flickr.com/wisconsinkow
June 27, 2016

New Illinois Raw Milk Guidelines; A Misting Flu Vaccine; Higher Ed Funding

On The 21st: New regulations for the sale of raw milk in Illinois go into effect July 1 - but raw milk producers and consumers are not happy about it. We talked with a producer of raw milk, someone to explain the new guidelines and representatives from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Contol and Prevention about why they believe raw milk is a risky thing to consume. Plus, a CDC panel tells doctors not to give the flu vaccine as a nasal spray this year. And we looked at higher education funding in Illinois as we come close to opening another fiscal year with no budget in the state.


Cronus Chemicals CEO Erzin Atac discusses its new fertilizer plan in Tuscola in October 2014.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
June 10, 2016

Construction Delayed For Douglas County Fertilizer Plant

Plans for building the Cronus Chemicals fertlizer plant in Tuscola have been put off until 2017.  A spokesperson says the company is trying to finalize deals with contractors, and cost for setting up the facility on land once considered for the FutureGen project is now listed at $1.9 billion.


Soil erosion on a farmland
Lynn Betts / USDA
June 06, 2016

Illinois Facing Most Severe Erosion In Two Decades

Illinois is losing topsoil – the layer of surface dirt that’s rich with nutrients and vital for food production. And the problem of erosion on Illinois farms is serious: In 2015, roughly one-fifth of Illinois’s farmland lost more soil than it made. Austin Keating has more.


In this Jan. 27, 2016 file photo, Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, attends a joint session of the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
April 11, 2016

Madigan Introduces Education Funding Amendment

The Democratic House Speaker's legislation states that education is a fundamental "right'' - as opposed to "goal'' - and that the state has the "preponderant financial responsibility'' for funding schools.   If approved, the amendment would appear on ballots in November.


Harvest activity just south of Rantoul, Ill., on Sept. 26, 2014.
Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
April 01, 2016

Why Didn’t An Illinois Professor Have To Disclose GMO Funding?

The private fund-raising arms of public universities, called foundations, are coming under scrutiny around the country.  Watchdogs have found questionable spending that’s led to resignations and legal challenges to their privacy.  In the course of reporting on a University of Illinois professor,  Monica Eng of WBEZ discovered a different way foundation privacy practices are raising questions.  


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