ACDC News – Issue 05-22

Lots of literature about plant transgenic science.

According to an analysis of CAB Abstracts and ISI Web of Science, 30,624 articles or other records were published about plant transgenic science between 1973 and 2003. Of these:

  • 4,545 focused on the development of plant transgenic technology
  • 21,843 focused on the applications of those technologies
  • 4,236 focused on the development of genetically modified (GM) crops

Researcher Philippe Vain also analyzed trends in the number of articles (a) over time and (b) by region of the world.

Reference: Published literature on plant transgenic science
Posted at:

How much literature about the communication aspects of biotechnology? 

Researcher Philippe Vain’s findings (above), published in Food Security and Ag-Biotech News from the Meridian Institute, did not show numbers to answer that question. We might report, however, that the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center now contains more than 1,300 articles and reports about communications, as related to agricultural and food biotechnology. Moreover, we feel this total only scratches the surface of literature published about this vital dimension of a timely topic.

Reference: You can identify these documents via the Online Search page. Conduct a Subject search on the term “biotechnology.”

When youngsters choose broccoli over chocolate. 

It happens, according to Sesame Workshop, when Elmo of “Sesame Street” promotes broccoli. A preliminary report of research indicated that one-half of the observed pre-schoolers chose broccoli over chocolate when the broccoli had an Elmo sticker on it. Only about one in four youngsters chose broccoli over chocolate with no character stickers.

Reference: Atkins funds study of veggie-character connection
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Ghostwriters and freelancers promoting government programs.

We have added to the ACDC collection two mid-2005 reports about government agencies that have stirred concerns by hiring ghostwriters and freelancers.

“EPA: Agency hires PR firm to ghostwrite articles.” Posted at: Search by title.
This report from Environment and Energy Publishing describes a five-year, $5 million contract between a public relations firm and the Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The firm will “ghostwrite articles ‘for publication in scholarly journals and magazines.'” “Appalling,” according to the editor of Science magazine.

“Agriculture Department paid freelance writer to promote conservation.” Posted at:
“The Agriculture Department paid a freelance writer to produce stories promoting the agency’s conservation efforts and then offer the articles to hunting and fishing magazines.” A Department spokesman said the Department is working on a formal policy on the issue. “We don’t think that paying journalists to promote government programs is a proper use of funds.”

Moving specialty meats beyond niche markets. 

A recent analysis involving bison meat revealed some problems in trying to do so. E. William Nganje and associates analyzed how consumers and bison processors perceived the risk associated with eating bison meat. Survey data identified gaps in the risk perception of those two groups and highlighted “difficulties in moving specialty meats beyond niche markets.”

Reference: Multinomial logit models comparing consumers

Renewal of rural community radio in Africa.

“Rural broadcasting is experiencing a renewal, thanks to a new generation of broadcasters, improvements in technology that are slashing operating costs, and government policies that are relinquishing the airwaves to local communities and the private sector.” So reported researcher Helen Hambly, International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR), in a news feature we added recently to the ACDC collection. Uganda, for example, now has more than 70 new FM radio stations, many of them community operated and broadcasting in local languages.

Hambly said she believes a window of opportunity now exists to use radio to bring news and information about sustainable agriculture to millions of people previously beyond the reach of government extension services.

Reference: In Africa communication means radio
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Agricultural communicator activities approaching

January 6, 2006
Deadline for proposing presentations, panel discussions, workshops or posters to be presented at the 2006 National Extension Technology Conference (NETC), University of Florida, Gainesville, May 8-11.

February 4-8, 2006
Annual meeting and conference of the Agricultural Communications Section, Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS), in Orlando, Florida.

March 1-3, 2006
Members of the Midwest Region, Cooperative Communicators Association, join with the Missouri Association of Publications in the second annual Publishing Summit in Columbia, Missouri USA.
Information: Gail Miller at

March 6-8, 2006
“Practice change for sustainable communities.” Conference of the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network (APEN) at Beechworth, Victoria, Australia.

March 23-25, 2006
Spring meeting of the Agricultural Relations Council in Memphis, Tennessee, USA.
Information: Jeri Mattics Omernik of Rocky Mountain Marketing Communications at

Perils of rural campaigning.

We close this issue of ACDC News with a report from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The candidate stumping for Congress was loud in his reasons why his rural audience should vote for him.

“As a practical farmer myself, I am one of you,” he boasted. “I can plow, harvest, shoe horses, milk cows and the like. Indeed, I should like any of you to mention one thing about a farm I cannot do.”
A momentary silence was impressive until a voice in the rear inquired, “Can you lay an egg?”

When you see interesting items you cannot find online or locally

Get in touch with us at Tell us the titles and/or document numbers. We will help you gain access.

Best regards and good searching. 

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions, and ideas for ACDC. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communication documents we might add to this unique collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Com Documentation Center, 510 LIAC, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, Illinois 61801) or electronic form at

December, 2005

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