User: flenvcenter Topic: Food-Independent
Category: Food Systems :: Global Food System
Last updated: Jun 08 2017 21:38 IST RSS 2.0
 
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States Challenge Scott Pruitt's Decision to Keep Pesticide Linked to Brain Damage in Food Supply 8.6.2017 Truthout.com
(Photo: Rob Franksdad ; Edited: LW / TO) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is facing a challenge from seven states over his decision to ditch an EPA proposal that would have kept a pesticide linked to brain damage in children out of the food supply. On Tuesday, a coalition of Democratic state attorneys general filed an administrative challenge to Pruitt's March 27 order denying a decade-old petition to ban chlorpyrifos, a controversial bug killer used to control pests on food crops such as apples, strawberries and oranges, as well as at facilities such as golf courses. The order quashed an agency proposal rolled out under the Obama administration to ban chlorpyrifos on food products due to health risks. Pruitt issued the order at the last minute to meet a court-ordered deadline requiring the EPA to make a final decision on the ban after years of review.   Environmental groups have long fought to restrict the use of chlorpyrifos and other controversial pesticides and filed ...
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Farmworkers Confront Wendy's in Fight for Fair Wages 8.6.2017 Truthout - All Articles
"He sido un trabajador agrícola desde que tenía 17 años." ("I have been a farmworker since I was 17 years old.") The voice of Lucas Benitez, a co-founder of the  Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) , is always powerful to hear, no matter what the setting. But on May 23, Benitez's voice rang out in a place that has been hostile to farmworkers' rights -- the annual shareholders meeting for Wendy's, held at the fast-food giant's headquarters in Dublin, Ohio. As the Alliance for Fair Food (AFF) reported , Benitez and 26 other supporters, including myself, went into the meeting to confront Wendy's corporate leadership about its refusal to join  the Fair Food Program  (FFP) established by the CIW and allies as a monitoring program to prevent abuse of farmworkers by the fast-food industry. More than 60 protesters led a vigorous picket in support outside the meeting, urging people to boycott Wendy's, support the farmworkers and fight for immigrant justice. Their actions forced Wendy's Director of Corporate ...
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Trump's Proposed Cuts To Foreign Food Aid Are Proving Unpopular 8.6.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
When U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) first came to Congress four years ago, he wanted “to get rid of foreign aid.” Since then, he said during a Wednesday hearing in Washington, he’s had a change of heart. “I know a lot of people might want to take a hatchet to foreign aid and say we’re not doing a good job,” Yoho continued. “But what I’ve learned is what [Secretary of Defense] General [James] Mattis said: If you cut foreign aid, buy more ammunition ‘cause you’re gonna need it.” Yoho’s remarks came during a House agriculture committee hearing centered on U.S. foreign food aid programs, a particularly timely topic given that President Donald Trump’s spending plan proposes eliminating all funding  for two key food aid programs — Food for Peace and the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program . The committee is in the beginning stages of reviewing farm bill programs, like the food aid initiatives, ahead of writing a new bill set to be finalized next year. While committee ...
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FDA Resumes Testing Foods For Weed Killer, Safety Questions Grow 8.6.2017 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has resumed its first-ever endeavor to evaluate how much of a controversial chemical is making its way into the U.S. food supply. And the tests can’t come soon enough as safety concerns about the herbicide known as glyphosate grow. The FDA, the nation’s chief food safety regulator, launched what it calls a “special assignment” last year to analyze certain foods for glyphosate residues after the agency was criticized by the U.S. Government Accountability Office for failing to include glyphosate in annual testing programs that look for many less-used pesticides in foods. But the agency scuttled the testing after only a few months amid disagreement and difficulties with establishing a standard methodology to use across the agency’s multiple U.S. laboratories, according to FDA sources. Many observers suspected the suspension might be politically motivated because it came after one FDA chemist found glyphosate in several samples of U.S. honey and oatmeal products , ...
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How Chicken Farmers are Getting Clucked in a Supermarket Near You 2.6.2017 Truthout - All Articles
Commercials featuring upbeat music, smiling farmers, and anthropomorphized chickens -- ads generated by companies like Foster Farmers and Pilgrim's Pride -- help make customers feel good about buying some of the nearly 40 billion pounds of chicken produced annually in the United States. But the reality for chicken farmers across rural America is much less pleasant than that depicted on television. A set of rules proposed under the Obama administration by the Department of Agriculture's Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) -- known as the Farmers Fair Practice Rules -- would provide contract farmers with basic protections and a larger voice within the industry. The Trump administration, however, has delayed their implementation several times and the future of the rules is uncertain. In the meantime, farmers say they're not getting a fair deal, and they want the federal government to take action. According to Barbara Patterson, government relations director at the  National ...
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Top grocery stores lag on antibiotic-free food 22.5.2017 Energy & Climate | Greenbiz.com
As restaurant chains rush to cut antibiotic-raised chicken, a new report by the Natural Resource Defense Council argues that Costco, Walmart and others aren't doing enough.
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EPA Violated the Law When It Approved 59 Bee-Killing Pesticides 17.5.2017 Truthout - All Articles
The Environmental Protection Agency will have some work to do, now that a federal court has decided it didn't comply with the  Endangered Species Act . You see, the EPA approved the registrations for 59  pesticide products  without first consulting with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on whether those chemicals posed a risk to  endangered species . The  court held  that the EPA improperly approved  38 pesticides  containing Thiamethoxam, and  21 pesticides  containing Clothianidin. Oops. It's quite a big "oops," actually, because these pesticides are all  neonicotinoids . If that term sounds familiar, it's because that's the type of insecticide many scientists believe has been killing bees for the last decade. Neonicotinoids are thought to be responsible for the phenomenon called " colony collapse disorder ," in which entire bee colonies just disappear almost overnight. The worker bees leave their hives and their queen behind, but no one knows where they go. American beekeepers began reporting this ...
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It Isn't Easy Being A 'Humane' Slaughterhouse 13.5.2017 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Although humane slaughter might sound like an oxymoron — like, say, “ clean coal ” — it’s a goal that some members of the meat industry take seriously.  Arion Thiboumery of the Vermont Packinghouse in North Springfield, Vermont, is one of them. The plant opened its doors three years ago and has been celebrated for its transparency — Thiboumery regularly welcomes tours of the operation — and its central mission to slaughter animals with “ respect and dignity .” “We feel like we’re proud of what we do here and we want everything to be above board,” he  told HuffPost last summer . “We’ll tell you about how the animal was raised and we’ll talk about how it died. We’re not embarrassed about it.” But Vermont Packinghouse started having some trouble a few weeks after that interview. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service  issued a suspension  to the facility on Oct. 12, 2016, after an inspector observed the plant supervisor attempting to stun a pig in a way that violated federal ...
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The tide is changing for offshore aquaculture 4.5.2017 Energy & Climate | Greenbiz.com
There are currently no commercial finfish operations in U.S. federal waters, but some are convinced proposed new farms in places like the Gulf of Mexico could become the future of sustainable seafood.
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New peer-to-peer seed sharing platform aims to facilitate a diverse seed supply 3.5.2017 TreeHugger
The Center for Food Safety's recently launched network is a bid to preserve global plant biodiversity and work toward food security around the globe.
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Walmart Touts Itself As An Environmental Leader. Its Workers Say Otherwise. 1.5.2017 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Over the past decade, Walmart has attempted to  transform its image from a big-box purveyor of bargain goods sold by low-paid workers to a vanguard of corporate environmentalism, with solar-paneled stores regularly feted by the Davos set . But for a retail behemoth whose business model still depends heavily on pollution, Walmart’s green policies are more akin to a face-lift than surgical reconstruction, according to workers and advocates calling on the company to add an environmentalist to its board of directors. “Walmart is really good with the PR stunts about how sustainable they are,” said Mary Pat Tifft, a 29-year employee at a Walmart in Kenosha, Wisconsin. “But I have grandchildren, and I’d like to leave them a healthy Earth and I’d like their children to have a healthy Earth, too.” Tifft, 62, is a member of OUR Walmart, the nonprofit workers’ group that advocates for higher pay and better corporate policies at the notoriously union-averse retailer. Over a year ago, the group purchased about 40 ...
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How soil sparked a new sustainable ag movement 28.4.2017 Resource Efficiency | GreenBiz.com
As word gets around that soil is alive, farmers have adopted a whole new attitude toward their land.
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Make American dairy farms great again! Adopt supply management 25.4.2017 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
David J. Climenhaga Never imagine, even for a moment, that U.S. President Donald Trump was serious when he talked about standing up for the interests American farmers in his notorious anti-Canadian trade speech at the Snap-On Tool factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Some Wisconsin dairy farmers may have been pleased when Trump began bloviating on the topic because anything is better than nothing when you're in desperate straits. And have no doubt, a lot of American dairy farmers are in desperate straits. But the interests Trump is defending are those of the multinational "agri-food" corporations that hold Wisconsin dairy farmers in a grip that approaches feudal vassalage, and which would love to be able to do the same thing to their counterparts down on the Canadian farm. Remember, despite his lies, misdirection and deceptions, the not-so-competent Trump serves the same neoliberal corporate masters as the quite competent Hillary Clinton, whom he defeated in last fall's U.S. presidential election with a little ...
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Green revolution must move east. We want to be freed of this national duty… to industrialise: Manpreet Singh Badal 23.4.2017 India – The Indian Express
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The chicken or the egg — or neither 22.4.2017 Design & Innovation | GreenBiz.com
Lab-grown promises to be one of modern science’s finest hours. Is it enough to change, or end, the way humans consume animals?
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Marijuana meets Big Food: Why green weed isn't easy to grow 20.4.2017 Resource Efficiency | GreenBiz.com
Cannabis companies are hiring agriculture experts to grow newly-legal businesses, but pitfalls like organic labeling and big energy bills loom large.
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Why Walmart’s Project Gigaton is corporate America’s ‘moonshot’ 19.4.2017 Resource Efficiency | GreenBiz.com
The lack of climate leadership from Washington makes the launch of Walmart’s Project Gigaton a cause for celebration.
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Pruitt's Rejection of Chlorpyrifos Ban Seems Based on "Alternative Facts" 9.4.2017 Truthout - All Articles
EPA chief Scott Pruitt fails to explain what data prompted his decision to allow continued use of toxic pesticides. (Photo: Pixabay ) The US Environmental Protection Agency under President Trump may have stepped into the brave new world of alternative facts. Last November, after several years of study, the EPA had  announced  that the insecticide chlorpyrifos poses an unacceptable risk to humans, especially children, when its residue is found in fruits, vegetables, and drinking water. The finding cited a 2014  Columbia University study  and other research showing that young people have suffered diminished cognitive abilities and reduced IQ after chronic exposures. This led the EPA to recommend a ban on all agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos -- by far the most heavily used insecticide in the US with  4 to 8 million pounds applied annually . On a pounds per acre basis, the  heaviest applications of chlorpyrifos  in the US have been on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, where several large agribusiness have been ...
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Environmental Groups Take Trump EPA To Court To Force Ban Of Brain-Draining Pesticide 7.4.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON — Three environmental organizations have asked a federal appeals court to force the Environmental Protection Agency to ban a widely used pesticide  linked to brain damage  in children. A motion  filed Wednesday by Earthjustice  on behalf of two other organizations challenges EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision last week to reject the scientific findings of his own agency and allow chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate insecticide used on fruits, vegetables and nuts, to remain on the market for agricultural use. The groups asked the court to require EPA to ban the pesticide within 30 days. Patti Goldman, an Earthjustice attorney, told The Huffington Post that the Trump administration is failing to protect the public from a chemical its own scientists found to be dangerous. “If the head of the EPA isn’t respecting, following the law or the science, that will be of great concern across the board,” Goldman said.  Earthjustice is representing the Natural Resources Defense Council  and the ...
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Moms Exposed To Monsanto Weed Killer Means Bad Outcomes For Babies 5.4.2017 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Concerns about the world’s most widely used herbicide are taking a new twist as researchers unveil data that indicates pervasive use of Monsanto Co.’s weed killer could be linked to pregnancy problems. Researchers looking at exposure to the herbicide known as glyphosate , the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup-branded herbicides, said they tested and tracked 69 expectant mothers and found that the presence of glyphosate levels in their bodily fluids correlated with unfavorable birth outcomes. The research is still in preliminary stages and the sample size is small, but t he team is scheduled to present their findings on Thursday at a conference put on by the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) in Washington, D.C. “This is a huge issue,” said Paul Winchester, medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at the Franciscan St. Francis Health system and professor of clinical pediatrics at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana. He said this is the first U.S. study to ...
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