The World Food Program
announces that it has been able to ship in more food to Afghanistan than it needs: 52,000 metric tons this month. Distribution problems still remain (and are being solved), but it could be a whole lot worse, and it looks like there will be no mass starvation.
A major advance in genetically modified foods.
Developed with government funding, and intended eventually to be given away to farmers, there has been a major success in the use of salt water to irrigate crops. They've developed a tomato which grows fine in salt water or on salty soil. Thousands of lives will be saved in parts of the world where fresh water for irrigation is scarce, including up to one third of the arable land in India where salt has been accumulating. Interestingly, these tomatoes are so good at what they do that they remove salt from the soil, improving it. The genetic modification which was done to these tomatoes should be possible with many other crops, including especially rice (on which major effort in Egypt is underway now).
Mad Cow disease spreads through Europe.
Now as I understand it, cattle get it by eating food which contains parts of other cattle or sheep who had the disease.
The solution seems straightforward enough: stop using animal-derived ingredients in the food fed to cattle. SO WHY THE HELL ARE THEY STILL DOING IT? Why is this so complicated? Is there something I'm missing here?