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Misleading food labels? Illinois experts provide guidelines for legal cases

URBANA, Ill. — Food labels are a tricky business. Manufacturers must strike just the right balance to entice consumers without making false claims about their products. But if the number of lawsuits over misleading food labels is an indicator — 220 in 2020 alone — manufacturers are struggling. 

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Study: Proposed nitrogen fertilizer policies could protect farmer profits, environment

URBANA, Ill. – Nitrogen fertilizer has major implications for crop yields and environmental health, specifically water quality in the Gulf of Mexico. Federal and state governments have shied away from regulating nitrogen fertilizer use, but voluntary and incentives-based programs have not been particularly successful; the oxygen-starved “dead zone” in the Gulf remains much larger than goals set by the federal-state Hypoxia Task Force.

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Major revamp of SNAP could eliminate food insecurity in the US

URBANA, Ill. – Food insecurity is a major problem in the U.S., and it worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides some relief, but millions of Americans still lack adequate access to healthy food. A new study from the University of Illinois proposes a potential solution.

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Clean Power Plan repeal had economic and environmental consequences

URBANA, Ill. – The Obama administration introduced the Clean Power Plan (CPP) in 2015 to significantly reduce carbon emissions from the U.S. electricity sector. However, the Trump administration repealed the CPP in 2016, claiming the costs to energy production outweighed the environmental benefits.

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New center employs economic tools for sustainability solutions

URBANA, Ill. – A group of applied economists launched a new research center this week at the University of Illinois. The Center for the Economics of Sustainability (CEOS) is made up of agricultural, development, environmental, financial, and consumer economists who collaborate with stakeholders and researchers from many other disciplines. Together, they study how best to manage natural resources and how to design policies and markets to achieve sustainability at the lowest possible cost.

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Emergency research grant studies how coronavirus affects food systems in the U.S.

Urbana, Ill.–– The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is highlighting food system deficiencies. While the food system is successfully providing for Americans during this crisis, many are encountering empty grocery shelves. Simultaneously, producers are struggling to reach consumers due to concerns with processing, distribution and demand.

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Slow down: Reduced speed limits save lives in busy cities

URBANA, Ill. ­– Traffic accidents are the leading cause of non-natural deaths worldwide. Lower speed limits may help prevent accidents. But speed-reduction policies can be controversial and effects are not well documented.

A new study from University of Illinois shows that speed reductions in São Paulo, Brazil, dramatically reduced fatal accidents and increased travel times only minimally.

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Public policies that target crime reduction around parks can directly benefit communities

URBANA, Ill. – Public parks can be valuable assets for communities, but crime in the area can “lock up” that amenity value. Crime directly affects the use that people get from their local parks. If crime is reduced, the environmental value can be unlocked, a new University of Illinois study shows.

“Our research is the first to rigorously quantify this effect, which turns out to account for nearly half of the total value of parks in major U.S. cities,” says Peter Christensen, environmental economist at U of I, and one of the study’s authors.

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farmdocDAILY launches webinar series to explore COVID-19 impact on Midwestern agriculture

URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois agricultural economists will host a webinar series discussing the impact of the coronavirus on agriculture in the Midwest. The webinar series will kick off on Friday, March 20, at 11 a.m. CDT.

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