Millions of children eat free or reduced-priced meals at public schools. (File: Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media)
Millions of children eat free or reduced-priced meals at public schools. (File: Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media)

A bipartisan U.S. Senate bill that would have made changes to the $22 billion federal program that distributes free and reduced-priced meals in schools is officially dead, according to bill sponsor Pat Roberts, Republican U.S. senator from Kansas.

The school lunch, breakfast, and summer meal programs will continue to operate under the policies set in 2010 under the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act.

Roberts, who is also chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, announced Tuesday that negotiations with colleagues in the House and Senate Democrats on a compromise bill that could pass both chambers had fallen through.

Researchers found antibiotic-resistant bacteria at a sow farm in the US. (File: Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media)
Researchers found antibiotic-resistant bacteria at a sow farm in the US. (File: Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media)

Bacteria containing a gene that confers resistance to an important class of antibiotics have been found at a swine farm in the U.S., raising the troubling concern that one of the last lines of defense against hard-to-fight infections may be failing.

The drugs, called carbapenems, are used to fight infections resistant to more-common medicines and are banned for use in livestock.

A team of researchers from Ohio State, however, found a carbapenem-resistant gene in samples collected from a U.S. pig farm. The researchers did not find evidence that antibiotic-resistant bacteria had entered the food supply. The study was published Monday in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

A barn sits near Boulder County's Parks and Open Space Department. (Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)
A barn sits near Boulder County's Parks and Open Space Department. (Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)

Crops genetically-engineered to withstand certain pesticides have a short shelf-life in Boulder County, Colorado.

The county’s commissioners voted Wednesday to ban growing genetically engineered crops on county open space with a 2-1 vote. The decision does not apply to privately-owned farmland.

The vote puts in place a transition plan to remove GMO corn and sugar beets -- the only GMO crops grown locally on open space land -- from public land within the next 5 years.

In 2015, farmers planted GMO corn and sugar beets on about 1,200 acres of the county’s leased open space, accounting for about 8 percent of the total amount of leased cropland in Boulder County. Starting in 2017, tenant farmers will have five years to remove GMO sugar beets from their crop rotations, and three years to eliminate GMO corn. That means 2021 would be the last year any GMO crop is grown on county-owned land.

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