User: flenvcenter Topic: Food-Independent
Category: Food Systems :: Global Food System
Last updated: Apr 30 2016 02:56 IST RSS 2.0
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Where's the beef? Alberta's cattle industry is only getting what it ordered from Earls 29.4.2016 - News for the rest of us
Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming. As pretty well everyone in Alberta must know by now, the province's beef industry is in a full-blown swivet over the decision by a Canadian restaurant chain to purchase its "certified humane" beef in the United ...
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Is a GMO Labeling Victory within Our Grasp? 29.4.2016 Views
Katherine Paul, Ronnie Cummins

Oh, to be a fly on the wall inside the offices of the top lobbyists for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

So close to the July 1 deadline for complying with Vermont’s GMO labeling law, and still no court ruling to overturn Vermont’s law. Still no federal legislation to preempt Vermont’s law.

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Cooking up an Organic Future - Is a Check-Off the Right Recipe? 28.4.2016 Green on
Organic food and fiber in the US are growing despite themselves. Even last week Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program, touted the double-digit growth of certified operations in the US are now 21,000 with 31,000 around the world. While this $40+ billion industry is indeed exploding on the shelves in US supermarkets, only 1% of agriculture, in the US is dedicated to growing organic. This ravenous appetite for organic food and fiber is percolating into a frothy peak, yet we just aren't producing what we need to feed the growing hunger. The fact that Costco is buying land and equipment, partnering with organic growers to meet demand is commendable -- but it's not going to quench the bigger dilemma. A spark is needed in agriculture and the Organic Check-off may be the ingredient that serves up the juiciest future. Right now in US agriculture, it pays to do the wrong thing. Our tax dollars get funneled into farm subsidies that support the largest polluters, the biggest pesticides ...
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Could US Trade Threaten Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba? 27.4.2016 Views
Ming Chun Tang

With limited access to chemical and mechanical inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides and farm machinery, Cuban farmers have pioneered innovations in sustainable agriculture out of necessity since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc.

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Democracy Awakening: A Call to Action for People and the Planet 16.4.2016 Views
Wenonah Hauter

It’s time to be bold and visionary. Only a massive grassroots movement can build the political power necessary for taking back our democracy and ousting the plutocrats who’ve stolen it. That’s why I’m thrilled to be one of thousands rallying this weekend at Democracy Awakening—supporting calls to restore voting rights and repeal Citizen’s United. I’m proud that Food  & Water Watch is one of the more than 200 groups coalescing to demand that people and the environment are prioritized over profits.

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"Gold Standard" tarnished? As organic sees record growth internal battles plague industry 15.4.2016 Politics on
The numbers don't lie - U.S. consumer demand for organic food is surging as people look for what they see as healthy offerings for themselves and their families. But meeting the growing consumer demand is not proving easy, and a deepening divide within the industry is now roiling the landscape of the $39 billion industry amid allegations of an erosion in the rigid standards that have drawn consumers to the premium market. The internal battle is creating what some call "two organic industries," and is sparking litigation and allegations that the well-known label marking foods as organic no longer assures consumers that foods are free from chemicals and other materials, or that organic meat was raised naturally. One particularly bitter battle now being waged is over the use of carrageenan, a thickening substance that critics say is shown to be dangerous to human health and is not needed in organic production, but which supporters say has long been proven safe and needed. That issue and others are expected ...
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EWG’s 2016 Dirty Dozen™ List of Pesticides on Produce: Strawberries Most Contaminated, Apples Drop to Second 12.4.2016 Newswire

Conventional strawberries top the Dirty Dozen™ list of EWG’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, displacing apples, which headed the list the last five years running.

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Top 12 toxic fruits and vegetables for 2016 12.4.2016 TreeHugger
EWG's annual list of produce pesticide loads is out, helping consumers know what items to buy organic and what conventional items have the lowest residues.
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Monsanto’s Evil Twin: Disturbing Facts About the Fertilizer Industry 11.4.2016 Views
Ronnie Cummins, Martha Rosenberg

What do you know about the worldwide chemical fertilizer industry? If you’re like most people, not much. 

There’s plenty of press coverage and consumer awareness when it comes to genetically engineered food and crops, and the environmental hazards of pesticides and animal drugs. But the fertilizer industry? Not so much—even though it’s the largest segment of corporate agribusiness ($175 billion in annual sales), and a major destructive force in polluting the environment, disrupting the climate, and damaging public health. 

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Monsanto's Evil Twin: Disturbing Facts About the Fertilizer Industry 11.4.2016
There's plenty of press coverage and consumer awareness when it comes to genetically engineered food and crops, and the environmental hazards of pesticides and animal drugs. But the fertilizer industry? Not so much -- even though it's the largest segment of corporate agribusiness, and a major destructive force in disrupting the climate and damaging public health. (Photo: Tamina Miller ; Edited: LW / TO) What do you know about the worldwide chemical fertilizer industry? If you're like most people, not much.  There's plenty of press coverage and consumer awareness when it comes to genetically engineered food and crops, and the environmental hazards of pesticides and animal drugs. But the fertilizer industry? Not so much -- even though it's the largest segment of corporate agribusiness ($175 billion in annual sales), and a major destructive force in polluting the environment, disrupting the climate, and damaging public health.  Learning the facts about chemical fertilizers and the companies who produce them ...
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Monsanto's Willing Executioners 6.4.2016 Truthout - All Articles
(Photo: Jason Jenkins) Is Monsanto "evil"? Just pop that question into Google and you'll find out quickly why Monsanto ranks near the top of every " most hated company " list. And ask any news editor ... the name "Monsanto" is guaranteed clickbait that reels in readers by the bushel. It's probably why you are reading this right now. Perhaps you, like many anti-GMO farmers, environmental watchdogs and consumer advocates, see Monsanto as the embodiment of everything that's wrong with corporate America. Its name is synonymous with unbridled greed, indifference to the environment, bipartisan cronyism and a demonstrated willingness to steamroll the little guy. To wit, Monsanto wields a three-decade-old Supreme Court patent ruling like a scythe as it cuts down farmers who dare to save seeds for the next planting season . It has also beaten back challenges from organic farmers who fell victim to " genetic drift " when Monsanto's patented crops cross-pollinated with their non-GMO neighbors and therefore rendered ...
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The Hypocrisy of the World's Crusade Against Japanese Whaling 2.4.2016 Politics on
Japan is making headlines again with the recent return of a Japanese whaling ship carrying 333 dead Minke whales. Western cultures love Japan for cultural artifacts like samurais, geishas, and sushi, but when another Japanese whaling ship comes back with its catch, the gloves come off. There's something sentimental about whales. They're majestic. They're enormous, and yet they're non-violent. I understand the appeal. I love whales. I support an end to whaling. But I also think there is a very deep hypocrisy behind our criticism of Japan's whaling programs. Although Japan did kill endangered whales in the past, their most recent hunt brought back Minke whales, a species which is not endangered. And although recent counts suggest Minke whale numbers could be declining, the number of whales that Japan recently killed amounts to less than 1 percent of the most conservative estimate of their current Antarctic population. Additionally, the fact that so many of the killed whales were pregnant indicates that the ...
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Science Could Help Us Feed The World, If Only We Let It 1.4.2016 Green on
At a university lab in the Netherlands, professor Mark Post is working tirelessly to perfect the world’s first lab-grown beef burger . If he is successful, beef lovers the world over will be able to eat a burger that is possibly more environmentally friendly and healthier than the real thing. Whether consumers — already suspicious of so-called frankenfood — will ultimately accept an in-vitro burger is an open question. And the same goes for 3D-printed food . And nutrient-enhanced, genetically modified sweet potatoes, even though they could help solve malnutrition  in developing countries. All over the world, scientists and other innovators at universities and, yes, even corporations are toiling to develop technologies that they believe could help solve some of our modern food system’s biggest problems. But we as consumers have often rejected these possible solutions, sometimes forcefully, in the name of food we deem to be more natural to our diets. Should we be so quick to do so? Though I didn’t ...
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Monsanto's Media Machine Comes To Washington 31.3.2016 Green on
The  media and partnerships division  of the venerable magazine Scientific American hosted a panel Thursday at the National Press Club featuring journalists and scientists. The event, cosponsored by a group called GMO Answers, focuses on whether science is "explained fairly in the media." What might be less apparent is that GMO Answers requires some explanation itself: The group is a project of agricultural biotech firms meant to buttress the industry's reputation. GMO Answers, which was launched in the summer of 2013 to help improve the impression of genetically modified foods in the U.S., is a project of PR giant Ketchum. Funding for the effort comes from agricultural biotech companies, including Monsanto and Syngenta. Monsanto, which sells seeds that have been genetically altered so crops can survive the company's glyphosate weedkiller, was facing pressure in many states to label foods containing GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. GMO Answers was created as a website where people could have ...
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The Changing Politics of Free Trade — Politicians are Finally Listening 31.3.2016 Views
Patrick Woodall

Last month, the air conditioner manufacturer Carrier told 1,400 workers in Indianapolis that their middle-class jobs were being offshored to Mexico. Carrier would slash its labor costs since its new workers would earn only about 10 percent of what the United Steelworkers earned in Indiana.

This is the real face of free trade deals. Workers that could afford to own their own homes and send their kids to college have had their economic security sacrificed on the altar of free trade.

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Helena Norberg-Hodge: Globalized Monoculture Is Consuming the Planet 31.3.2016
Environmentalist, author and producer Helena Norberg-Hodge discusses the scale and structure of the global economy and how it contributes to the most serious social and ecological crises of our time. A rainforest is destroyed to make way for palm oil in West Kalimantan, Borneo, in a photo taken on March 22, 2011. The global economy contributes to today's most serious ecological crises. (Photo: Rainforest Action Network ) This original story saw the light of day thanks to support from readers like you. Help us publish more stories like it by donating to Truthout now! Globalization is as old as capitalism itself, although the trend has intensified significantly in the last 40 or so years, promoting what is known as a "monoculture" economy with devastating effects for the well-being of many communities in the global South and the environment alike. Localization, in this regard, is seen by an increasing number of people as the counterweight to globalization. A leading voice against "monoculture" and a ...
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Cuba's Sustainable Agriculture at Risk in US Thaw 30.3.2016
President Obama's trip to Cuba last week accelerated the warming of U.S.-Cuban relations. Many people in both countries believe that normalizing relations will spur investment that can help Cuba develop its economy and improve life for its citizens. But in agriculture, U.S. investment could cause harm instead. For the past 35 years I have studied agroecology in most countries in Central and South America. Agroecology is an approach to farming that developed in the late 1970s in Latin America as a reaction against the top-down, technology-intensive and environmentally destructive strategy that characterizes modern industrial agriculture. It encourages local production by small-scale farmers, using sustainable strategies and combining Western knowledge with traditional expertise. Cuba took this approach out of necessity when its economic partner, the Soviet bloc, dissolved in the early 1990s. As a result, Cuban farming has become a leading example of ecological agriculture. But if relations with U.S. ...
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Over 5 Million Nigerians Urge Government to Reject Monsanto Crops 29.3.2016 Headlines
Nika Knight, staff writer

Monsanto is poised to begin planting genetically modified varieties of corn and cotton in Nigeria, provoking the outrage of millions.

In response to the biotech behemoth's application for the release and marketing of the GMO crops in the West African nation, 100 non-profits representing over 5 million Nigerians on Monday presented the government with a formal objection (pdf).

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Food Companies Plan to Label GMOs -- but Is There More to the Story? 27.3.2016 Truthout - All Articles
Have consumers won the GMO labeling battle? (Photo: Pavel Horak / Flickr ; Edited: JR / TO) Only you can help sustain grassroots, groundbreaking journalism. Join the thousands of readers who support Truthout: Click here to make a donation! The world's largest food corporations have spent hundreds of millions of  dollars  (some of it  illegally ) to avoid being required to label the genetically engineered ingredients in their products. But with the July 1 deadline for complying with Vermont's GMO labeling law on the horizon, a handful of the largest multinational food corporations have announced they will now label GMOs -- not solely because they will be forced to, but because as General Mills  claims , they believe "you should know what's in your food and how we make ours." Have consumers won the GMO labeling battle? Have these food companies that so fiercely fought to keep labels off their products really split with the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the multi-billion-dollar lobbying group ...
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What Bill Gates Isn't Telling You About GMOs 25.3.2016
Some of the world's most powerful figures tout the benefits of GMOs, but what's the real story? Facts on the ground expose the PR spin, half truths and outright propaganda that has come to dominate a public conversation that is not so much about engineering genes, but engineering truth for the benefit of multinational corporations. Bill Gates. (Photo: OnInnovation ) Fight back against the spread of misinformation perpetuated by mainstream news. Help independent media thrive by making a donation to Truthout today! The food industry's fight to stop Vermont from labeling genetically engineered foods is  heading to the floor  of the US Senate. And the spotlight on labeling is underscoring the need for our country to have a more honest conversation about GMOs. Two recent videos illuminate the deep divide between the stories we hear from opponents and proponents of the controversial food technology. In the  first video , the Wall Street Journal's Rebecca Blumenstein interviewed Bill Gates about his views on ...
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