Peggy Lowe

Peggy Lowe joined Harvest Public Media in 2011, returning to the Midwest after 22 years as a journalist in Denver and Southern California. Most recently she was at The Orange County Register, where she was a multimedia producer and writer. In Denver she worked for The Associated Press, The Denver Post and the late, great Rocky Mountain News. She was on the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of Columbine. Peggy was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan in 2008-09. She is from O'Neill, the Irish Capital of Nebraska, and now lives in Kansas City. Based at KCUR, Peggy is the analyst for The Harvest Network and often reports for Harvest Public Media.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. House passed a national standard for labeling food containing genetically-modified organisms, or GMOs, yesterday. But as Harvest Public Media’s Peggy Lowe reports, consumers may still have problems getting that information.

The bill, now passed by both the House and Senate, allows companies three ways to disclose that there are GMOs in their products. They can put text directly on the package, offer a phone number or website, or they can use a QR code that a shopper can scan with a smart phone.

neetalparekh, flickr Creative Commons

Late last night, the U.S. Senate agreed to a bill that sets a standard for labels on genetically-modified food. But as Harvest Public Media’s Peggy Lowe reports, it’s still a food fight.

Just a week before a Vermont law kicks in requiring labels on food containing genetically modified ingredients, U.S. Senate agriculture leaders announced a deal Thursday that takes the power out of states' hands — and sets a mandatory national system for GM disclosures on food products.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, unveiled the plan that had been negotiated for weeks with U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan.


The average American eats 200 pounds of meat every year – it's one of the highest consumption rates in the world. That high demand for chicken, beef and pork drives fast-paced production rates in meatpacking plants, and workers often pay the price. In the second part of Harvest Public Media’s series, “Dangerous Jobs, Cheap Meat,” Peggy Lowe reports on life after working on “the chain.”

LID / flickr Creative Commons

Time is running out for Congress to get a bill passed requiring food with genetically modified ingredients to be labeled.

July 1 is when a mandatory GMO labeling law kicks in in Vermont, so Congress has been trying to get something on the books before then in hopes of setting a national standard. Without that, food companies warn of “chaos” in the marketplace.

Jeffrey Remick, flickr Creative Commons

An outbreak of bird flu has hit Missouri, but as Harvest Public Media’s Peggy Lowe reports, this doesn’t mean a repeat of last year’s massive outbreak.

The bad news: A commercial turkey flock in Jaspar County, near Joplin, was found to be infected with H5N1 avian flu. That’s confirmed by the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Thirty-nine thousand birds were destroyed last week as a precaution and the farm is still quarantined.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

The latest tech startup boom today is not coming from California--it’s closer to home. And it involves an industry that’s ancient.

Investment in food and agriculture technology startups reached into the billions in 2015, a huge jump from previous years. What’s going on? Peggy Lowe of Harvest Public Media reports that Big Ag has found Big Data.

Jeffrey Remick, flickr Creative Commons

A bird flu virus has once again been found in the Midwest.

This time, the virus was found in a large commercial turkey farm in Indiana. This strain of avian flu is different than the one that devastated the egg and turkey industries in the U.S. last year. TJ Myers of the U.S. Agriculture Department says it’s H7N8.

“Regardless of what those numbers are, it is a highly pathogenic virus, which means it is a significant virus that does need an immediate response in order to contain it," he says.

jetsandzeppelins, flickr Creative Commons

A senior scientist at the US Agriculture Department filed a whistleblower complaint today that adds fuel to the controversy swirling around a popular pesticide.

Jonathan Lundgren is a USDA entomologist in South Dakota. He says his research on a class of pesticides called “neonicotinoids” has been suppressed by the federal agency. His findings suggest the pesticides may harm honeybees and Monarch butterflies. Reporter Carey Gillam broke the story this morning.

Matt Davis, flickr Creative Commons

The average American eats 89 pounds of chicken a year. According to a report out today, that demand takes an enormous toll on the workers.

The report by Oxfam America says workers are facing factory line speeds that have doubled, many cut up 34 chickens a minute. Oliver Gottfried of Oxfam America says the four big poultry companies give a single half-hour lunch break but forbid workers from leaving the line during an eight-hour shift.