Newsletter Scientifique #2 - Janvier 2012



The French Office of Science and Technology in Chicago wishes you and yours a very happy and healthy new year.

The new year has begun, so let us review 2011 and look forward to the scientific developments taking place in the U.S. and in France.

You may notice in this new year, the importance of food safety and the subject of biodiesel in the United States, just as agriculture is in the headlines across France.

Adèle Martial, Scientific attaché
Cécile Camerlynck, Deputy scientific attaché

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Table of contents



EPA Finalizes 2012 Renewable Fuel Standards - Dec 27th

On Dec. 27, the U.S. EPA finalized the 2012 percentage standards for four fuel categories that are part of the agency’s renewable fuel standard (RFS2) program. EPA continues to support greater use of renewable fuels within the transportation sector every year through the RFS2 program, which encourages innovation, strengthens American energy security, and decreases greenhouse gas pollution. To see more information : and


New Iowa State president wants to make school more affordable - Jan 17th

Iowa State University’s new president said one of his top priorities is making the university more affordable and reducing student debt. To see more information :


Suez Environment Initiatives Awards / Institut de France

The Fonds SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT Initiatives - Institut de France Awards competition is organised in the same way as its predecessor, the Water for All Competition, which it replaced in 2011. It rewards projects and innovations that contribute to the development of water, wastewater treatment and waste management services in developing countries. The deadline to apply is March, 15th, 2012. To see more information :

Science & Technology in the US

National News


Ethanol growth not leading to cropland expansion, new USDA report shows - Dec 21st

An in-depth analysis of U.S. land use patterns released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows total cropland decreased by 34 million acres from 2002 to 2007, the lowest level since USDA began collecting this data 1945. To see more information :

USDA Deregulates Monsanto’s First-Generation Drought-Tolerant Trait for Corn - Dec 23rd

Monsanto received deregulation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for MON 87460, the company’s first-generation drought-tolerant trait for corn.
Drought-tolerant corn is projected to be introduced as part of an overall system that would offer farmers improved genetics, agronomic practices and the drought trait. To see more information :

Corn Defenses Probed for New Pest Fighting Clues - Jan 3rd

A clearer picture of corn’s biochemical responses to insect and fungal attacks is emerging, thanks to new findings by Agricultural Research Service scientists in Gainesville, Florida. To see more information :

FDA restricts use of certain antibiotics in livestock - Jan 5th

Federal drug regulators announced that farmers and ranchers must restrict their use of a critical class of antibiotics in cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys because such practices may have contributed to the growing threat of bacterial infections in people that are resistant to treatment. To see more information : and

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Blueprint for Stronger Service to Increase Efficiency in USDA Operations - Jan 9th

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) must be built to meet the evolving needs of a 21st century agricultural economy, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday in presenting USDA’s Blueprint for Stronger Service, a plan that helps producers continue to drive America’s economy by streamlining operations and cutting costs. To see more information :

NASA study shows health, food security benefits from measures targeting climate change - Jan 12th

A new study led by a NASA scientist highlights 14 key air pollution control measures that, if implemented, could slow the pace of global warming, improve health and boost agricultural production. To see more information :


The Federal Food Safety Working Group Progress report - Dec 2011

Health and Human Services (HHS) Department Secretary Kathleen
Sebelius and Agriculture Department (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a
progress report last month on accomplishments and strategies of President Obama’s Food Safety Working Group (FSWG). To see more information :

USDA awards $10.4 million in food safety grants - Dec 9th

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday it had awarded 17 grants totaling $10.4 million for university research projects designed to boost food safety at a time when millions of Americans get food-borne illnesses each year. To see more information :

USDA Launches New Online Nutrition SuperTracker in Time for Those Healthy New Year Resolutions - Dec 22nd

Just in time to help Americans keep their New Year’s resolutions by making healthy food and physical activity choices, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released USDA’s new nutrition SuperTracker. To see more information :

FDA Creates The Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) To Develop Training Courses And Materials For Prevention Of Contamination - Dec 28th

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in cooperation with the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute for Food Safety and Health (IIT IFSH) created the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) to develop materials to will help the industry comply with the new preventive control rules. To see more information : and

US egg Salmonella prevention guidance issued - Jan 2nd

New US guidance on the prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in eggs through improved bio-security measures has been published, with the intention of preventing cross contamination. To see more information :

Draft dioxin guidance could ‘cripple’ food sector, warns US industry - Jan 4th

The US food industry is lobbying the Obama administration to ease pending federal guidance recommending that consumers severely limit their daily dioxin intake. To see more information :

Critical Quality Considerations for Probiotics and Other Microbial Food Cultures Offered in New Draft FCC Standards - Jan 5th

With strong consumer interest in probiotics and new manufacturer innovations for incorporating these ingredients into a broader array of food products new standards to help ensure the quality of probiotic food ingredients are being proposed for public review and comment. To see more information :

Durbin asks federal agency to help reduce school lunch fraud risk - Jan 13th

Responding to a Chicago Tribune story on fraud risks in the federal free lunch program, Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois today sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking what his department will do to “bolster eligibility verification measures.” To see more information :


U.S. Navy wraps up energy demonstration - Dec 16th

The Navy successfully concluded its final alternative fuel demonstration for the year today with the Dec. 7-9 operational tests of the 50/50 algae-derived, hydro-processed algal oil and petroleum F-76 blend in a landing craft air cushion (LCAC) amphibious transport vehicle. To see more information :

USDA Helps Install Ethanol Blender Pumps - Dec 17th

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) has used more funds to install 54 ethanol blender pumps in twelve different locations. The REAP program funded a total of 266 ethanol blender pumps in 30 states at a total cost of $4.2 million dollars in Fiscal Year 2011. To see more information :

DOE researchers achieve important genetic breakthroughs to help develop cheaper biofuels - Dec 22nd

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) announced today a major breakthrough in engineering systems of RNA molecules through computer-assisted design, which could lead to important improvements across a range of industries, including the development of cheaper advanced biofuels. To see more information : and

The 450,000 gallons of agal and animal fat oil-based fuel constitutes the largest single purchase of biofuel in US history. While the fuel is an advanced, drop-in biofuel (it requires no engine modification), it will first be blended 50/50 with marine diesel or aviation gas and then used in a demonstration aircraft-carrier group dubbed “The Green Strike Group.” To see more information :

Latest EIA numbers show biodiesel consumption on the rise - Dec 29th

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released its latest Monthly Energy Review in late December. According to data featured in the review, biodiesel consumption continued to grow throughout the first nine months of 2011. To see more information :

American Soybean Association highlights 2011 accomplishments - Jan 3rd

The American Soybean Association recently published a list of key accomplishments it achieved in 2011, including several related to the biodiesel industry. To see more information :

Sunn Hemp Shows Promise as Biofuel Source - Jan 3rd

Work by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that farmers in the Southeast could use the tropical legume sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea) in their crop rotations by harvesting the fast-growing annual for biofuel. To see more information :

US EPA publishes direct final rule for camelina RFS2 pathway - Jan 5th

On Jan. 5, the U.S. EPA issued a direct final rule regarding RFS2 pathways for four new biofuel feedstocks, including camelina oil, energy cane, giant reed and napiergrass. To see more information :

Ethanol : Ready to Stand on its Own ? - Jan 6th

At the end of 2011, the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), which gives blenders 45 cents to blend ethanol into the gasoline supply, expired. To see more information :

Vilsack highlights U.S. Navy biofuels partnership - Jan 11th

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted the Obama Administration’s commitment to renewable energy on Jan. 10 at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument’s Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Pearl Harbor naval base was the first Hawaii military marine fleet to use biodiesel, replacing the Department of Navy-operated tour boats that shuttled visitors to and from the USS Arizona Memorial with five new boats capable of running on 100% biodiesel. To see more information :

Midwest news


Quinn Administration Announces $20 Million Capital Funding for Fermilab Accelerator - Dec 16th

Officials from the administration of Governor Pat Quinn today announced $20 million in Illinois Jobs Now ! capital funding for the design and construction of a new accelerator research facility at Fermilab. Ground was broken today on the new facility, which will be part of Fermilab’s Illinois Accelerator Research Center (IARC) complex. To see more information :


Robots to replace aging farmers - Dec 27th

Today’s agricultural equipment has been designed around a person sitting in a chair. It cost a lot to employ a single person so the equipment grew larger in order to maximize the productivity of that one person. To see more information :


Study Puts Cost of Food-borne Illness at Almost $78 Billion - Jan 5th

The cost of food-borne illness to the US economy is $77.7 billion according to estimates by Dr. Robert Scharff of Ohio University. The figure which was published in the Journal of Food Protection is roughly half his previous estimate of $152 billion. To see more information :

Study : Healthy eating may help children with ADHD - Jan 10th

There’s limited evidence that any particular diet or supplement helps kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but at least some research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may help while fatty "Western-style" diets do these children no favors. To see more information :

Modified probiotics may protect against food-borne illnesses - Jan 10th

Modified probiotics could help to reduce the risk of food-borne infections such as Listeria by blocking the bacteria from entering the body in the gut, say researchers. To see more information :


Iowa Ethanol Production Up in 2011 - Dec 27th

Iowa’s ethanol production increased slightly this year ; however, the rate of annual growth slowed as the domestic E10 market became saturated, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. To see more information :

Mascoma to Build Cellulosic Ethanol Facility in Michigan - Jan 4th

With $80 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, Mascoma Corporation, a renewable fuels company based in New Hampshire, will design and construct a commercial-scale hardwood cellulosic ethanol facility in Kinross, Michigan. To see more information :

Other states’ news


University of Florida research on newly formed plants could lead to improved crop fertility - Jan 6th

A new University of Florida study shows genomes of a recently formed plant species to be highly unstable, a phenomenon that may have far-reaching evolutionary consequences. Published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study is the first to document chromosomal variation in natural populations of a recently formed plant species following whole genome doubling, or polyploidy. To see more information :


Obesity in K-8 Students - New York City, 2006-07 to 2010-11 School Years - Dec 16th

Overweight and obese children are more likely to develop risk factors that can lead to respiratory, metabolic, and cardiovascular illness (1–3). The increase in prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity in the United States since the 1960s has been well documented. To see more information :

Diet patterns may reduce Alzheimer’s risk - Jan 3rd

A study published in Neurology shows that people with diets high in several vitamins or in omega 3 fatty acids may reduce their risk of having the brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer’s disease. To see more information :

Obesity and cancer screening : Do race and gender also play a role ? - Jan 9th

Researchers in Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University recently found that obesity was linked to higher rates of prostate cancer screening across all races/ethnic differences and lower rates of cervical cancer screening, most notably in white women. Their study on the role of obesity in cancer screening rates for prostate, cervical as well as breast and colorectal cancers across race/ethnicity and gender is examined in the current issue of the Journal of Obesity. To see more information :

A diet rich in slowly digested carbs reduces markers of inflammation in overweight and obese adults - Jan 11th

Among overweight and obese adults, a diet rich in slowly digested carbohydrates, such as whole grains, legumes and other high-fiber foods, significantly reduces markers of inflammation associated with chronic disease, according to a new study by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. To see more information :

Science & Technology in France

At the National level


Bruno Le Maire recalled his opposition to the reintroduction of animal meal in France - Dec 2nd

Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Rural and Regional Development, recalls his opposition to any changes in regulations on animal feed. To see more information : (French article)

News phytosanitary regulations

Five new European regulations about GMO products on the market and three new french regulations about phytosanitary. To see more information : and (French article)

Fishing quotas in 2012 : a satisfactory agreement for France - Jan 5th

After lengthy negotiations, the Fisheries Ministers of the European Union and the European Commission reached December 17, 2011 agreement on total allowable catches (TACs) and fishing quotas for 2012. To see more information : (French article)

AFClim (Agriculture, forestry, environment : towards adaptation strategies) - Jan 5th

The prospective AFClim (Agriculture, forestry, environment : towards adaptation strategies) aims to explore adaptation options for agriculture and forestry to climate change. To see more information : (French article)

Ownership issues and implementation of the Framework Directive (DCE) in the agricultural sector - Jan 11th

After an investigation into six watersheds, observations and analysis help explain why the goal of "good ecological status" of water bodies will not be achieved in 2015, particularly in terms of diffuse agricultural pollution : a strictly regulatory approach doesn’t enough. To see more information : (French article)

News veterinarians regulations from January 7th to 13th, 2012 - Jan 13th

You will find a list of the news regulations in France and in European Union. To see more information : (French article)

Institutions / Universities


Blogosciences competition

Students propose through a video or a blog to explain a scientific phenomenon in the area covered by Unisciel Sciences : Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computing, Life Sciences, Earth Sciences, Sciences of the universe. The deadline to apply is April 30th, 2012. To see more information : (French article)


GMO would not harm who eats - Dec 19th

The GMO debate are, for ethical reasons, economic or health. But a French study is to prove that GMOs are not toxic to organisms that eat them. Yet the dissenting voices remain. To see more information : (French article)

Companies and Research Cluster


Organic food, the guarantee without pesticides ? - Dec 23rd

After a study last year which focused on pesticide residues in conventional foods, the association Future Generations commissioned an analysis of organic food. The difference between the two is striking, indicating that organic foods really are. To see more information : (French article)


McCormick Packaging Engineers in France Choose FlapMate Closure for New Spice Package - Jan 9th

Consumers don’t like being told what to do. Some prefer to pour their spices ; others prefer to use a spoon. To see more information :

Mars France expands M&M production capacity with €40m investment - Jan 11th

Mars Chocolat France has announced plans for a multimillion investment in its Haguenau plant that will boost the site’s production capacity by 20%. To see more information :

Get in touch with science

Many organizations give you the opportunity to learn and improve your mind about agriculture and food science. Please find below some of website about these :


Website to see

For the United States information

Federal agencies

JPEG : The department of Energy provides a lot of information about energy, regulations, programs, … in the United States.

JPEG : The United States Department of Agriculture gives you information about agriculture and nutrition actions, regulations, studies, …

JPEG : The Environmental Protection Agency provides you lot of information about environment and sustainable actions.

JPEG : The US Food and Drug Administration protect and promote your health.


JPEG : Chicago Nutrition Association offers you advices and events to know and understand nutrition facts.

JPEG : American Dietetic Association website is for professional and non-professional person. You can find advices, studies, videos and lots of things about nutrition.

JPEG : All information about nutrition, food, nutriments and healthy eating.

News from the scientific service at the French embassy

JPEG : News from United States about science and technology advanced in the country (French articles).

For France information

Research centers

JPEG : The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety give you some information about these fields in France.

JPEG : The French National Center for Scientific Research presents you the research news in France.

JPEG : The French National Institute for Agricultural Research has a mission-oriented research institute that addresses core development issues, from the local to the international level.

Information centers

JPEG : News from France about science and technology advanced in the country (French articles).

JPEG : Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fishing, Rural Affairs and the Planning poses news and information about these fields.

JPEG : This site deals with food policy (obesity, eating habits, ...), addresses our efforts in research in this area, and provides summary sheets including French agriculture and food industries.

JPEG : This is a blog about nutrition : studies, cooking recipes, exhibition, ...

European informations

JPEG : The European Food Safety Authority commit to ensuring that Europe’s food is safe.

Place to go

  • Museum of Science and Industry
    57th Street and Lake Shore Drive
    Chicago, IL 60637 On this website, you had some videos, games and lot of explanations about the actual exhibits in the museum.
  • Science Café Zone 5
    Whole Foods Market
    Evanston, IL 60201

Coming events

Colloque Alimentation Durable : un bien partagé ? Montpellier SupAgro Montpellier, France January 27, 2012 http://agricultu...
California AG Summit to eye food trends, energy and social media Freeborn Hall - University of California Davis, California January 27, 2012 http://caes...
Food Source Attribution Public Meeting U.S. Department of Agriculture, Jefferson Auditorium, 14th & Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, DC, 20250 January 31, 2012 http://www.pple...
Pre&Probiotics 2012 – Virtual conference Online Starts 8:00am in New York / 5:00am in Los Angeles / 2:00pm in Paris February 1, 2012 http://preandpro...
8th Annual Clean Tech Investor Summit The Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa 44-400 Indian Wells Lane Indian Wells CA 92210-8708 February 1-2, 2012 http://cleantech...
National Biodiesel Expo and Conference Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, 6000 W Osceola Parkway Kissimmee, Florida 34746 February 5-8, 2012 http://www.biodiesel...
Artisan Cheese Symposium & Cheesemaking I and II Short Course Western Dairy Center, Utah State University Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Sciences, Building, Room 248, 750 North 1200 East Logan, Utah February 7, 2012 & February 8-10 and 21-24, 2012 http://www.usu...
The #1 Meeting Where Industry Leaders Network to Make Wind Power Project Deals Happen ! Rancho Bernardo Inn San diego, Californie February 8-10, 2012 http://info...
Process Optimization Seminar management series St. Paul Minnesota February 8-10, 2012 http://www.process.../
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) Annual Conference Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington, DC February 11-14, 2012 http://www.amch...
Food & Agricultural Communications : The Next Frontier University of Illinois College of ACES and College of Media Urbana Champaign, Illinois February 17, 2012 (final registration February 1) www.agcom...
17th Annual National Ethanol Conference The Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center Orlando, Florida February 22-24, 2012 http://national...
The Paris International Agricultural Show Paris Porte de Versailles, 1 place de la Porte de Versailles 75015 Paris, France February 24 - March 4, 2012
Solar Power Finance & Investment Summit Rancho Bernardo Inn San Diego, California February 27, 2012 http://infoca...
ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit Gaylord Convention Center Washington DC February 27-29, 2012 http://cleantech...
Smart Energy Summit : Engaging the Consumer Hyatt Regency Austin - Downtown, On The Lake 208 Barton Springs Road Austin, Texas February 28 – March 1, 2012 http://www.park...


French Office for Science and Technology at the Embassy of France in Washington, DC - website :
Consulate General of France in Chicago - website :


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Dernière modification : 18/01/2013

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