Dan Charles is NPR's food and agriculture correspondent.

Primarily responsible for covering farming and the food industry, Charles focuses on the stories of culture, business, and the science behind what arrives on your dinner plate.

This is his second time working for NPR; from 1993 to 1999, Charles was a technology correspondent at NPR. He returned in 2011.

2:24pm

Wed April 11, 2012
The Salt

FDA Launches Voluntary Plan To Reduce Use Of Antibiotics In Animals

Originally published on Thu April 12, 2012 6:38 am

The FDA's latest effort to end the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animals is getting mixed reviews from activists.
Rob Carr AP

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said today it is calling on the nation's pork, beef, and poultry producers to reduce their use of antibiotics. But some watchdog groups say this voluntary guidance doesn't go nearly far enough.

The issue has been contentious for decades. Just last month, a federal judge ruled that the FDA had to go ahead with a plan it proposed in 1977 that would ban the use of some antibiotics as a growth promoter in animals.

Read more

2:15pm

Wed April 11, 2012
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Texting Guy Barely Escapes Bumping Into Bear

As the bear turned right, Vaz Terdandenyan was about to come down the sidewalk toward it. He got a surprise.
KTLA-TV

If this doesn't make you want to put down that cellphone, we don't know what will.

Watch what happened as Los Angeles TV station KTLA was tracking a black bear as it wandered through a neighborhood in La Crescenta, Calif., Tuesday morning.

Read more

2:14pm

Wed April 11, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Ark. Judge Socks Johnson & Johnson With $1.1 Billion Penalty

A state judge in Arkansas ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a $1.1 billion fine after a jury found the company had minimized the risks of its antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

Read more

2:14pm

Wed April 11, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama Camp Doesn't Want General-Election Voters To Forget Primary Romney

When Mitt Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom indicated with his famous (or infamous) Etch-A-Sketch simile that the former Massachusetts governor would reset his campaign strategy and message after the Republican primaries in order to appeal to general-election voters, Democrats said they planned to make that shift difficult if not impossible for the presumptive GOP nominee.

Read more

2:08pm

Wed April 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Panetta Reassures Afghans On U.S. Training Role, Possibly Beyond 2014

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, far right, escorts Afghanistan's Minister of National Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak (center) and Minister of Interior Gen. Bismillah Khan Mohammadi (left) in the Pentagon.
Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo OASD/PA

The bulk of the U.S. military force in Afghanistan is slated to leave the country by 2014. But the Pentagon is willing to keep some Americans there to train Afghan forces, according to a report by NPR's Tom Bowman.

Here's Tom's report for NPR's Newscast:

"Afghan Defense Minister Adbul Rahim Wardak says his country is looking for an enduring long-term relationship with the United States. And part of the relationship centers on training and equipping Afghan soldiers and police."

Read more

1:56pm

Wed April 11, 2012
Asia

North Korea To Launch Rocket, And A New Power Play

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 8:51 pm

A North Korean soldier stands guard in front of the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket on a launchpad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, during a guided media tour by North Korean authorities northwest of Pyongyang on April 8.
Bobby Yip Reuters/Landov

As North Korea gears up to launch a long-range rocket, political changes are afoot, too: Pyongyang has consolidated its succession process, giving a new title to its new leader, Kim Jong Un, who came to power in December after his father's death.

The rocket launch, which could come as early as Thursday in North Korea, has been condemned by the international community as being in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. So why now?

Read more

1:30pm

Wed April 11, 2012
The Two-Way

'Texts From Hillary' Gets Secretary Clinton's Endorsement

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 4:50 pm

Part of the contribution Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (or someone on her staff, of course) made to Texts from Hillary.
Texts from Hillary

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET. And With That, The Fun Is Over; Texts From Hillary Decides To Call It A Day:

Saying that "as far as memes go — it has gone as far as it can go," the Texts from Hillary guys have decided to stop adding to the blog.

As they say, "TTYL."

But we still suggest checking out our original post:

Seen Texts from Hillary yet?

Read more

1:06pm

Wed April 11, 2012
The Salt

Should 'Pink Slime' Be Labeled?

Beef cuts that are used to make "pink slime" or lean finely textured beef were on display during a tour in March of the Beef Products Inc.'s plant in South Sioux City, Neb.
Nati Harnik AP

The fallout from the consumer backlash to so-called "pink slime" continues to hurt meat sales. Now, some companies are taking steps to label the product they call "lean, finely textured beef" in hopes that they can earn back consumer trust.

Tyson and Cargill, two multinational firms that sell ground beef containing the processed trimmings, say they have submitted labeling requests to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in hopes that some customers will feel better about buying ground beef containing LFTB if it's labeled.

Read more

1:03pm

Wed April 11, 2012
The Two-Way

A DJ Kit You Can Take For A Spin — On Your Bike

A cyclist uses a fader to manipulate music, on Cogoo's Turntable Rider kit that blends DJ and BMX culture.
NPR

With sensors that translate the motions of a bike — turning the handlebars, spinning the wheels, etc. — into music, the Turntable Rider "is an epic bicycle accessory which converts a bicycle into a musical instrument," according to Cogoo, the company that created the device.

Read more

Pages