User: flenvcenter Topic: Food-Independent
Category: Food Systems :: Global Food System
Last updated: Jun 25 2016 03:26 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Countdown to GMO Labeling - But We're Not There Yet 25.6.2016 Commondreams.org Views
Jo Miles

In seven days, if all goes well, labeling genetically engineered (GMO) ingredients will be the law in Vermont. But the Senate is scrambling to keep that from happening. Just yesterday, Senators Roberts (R-KS) and Stabenow (D-MI) announced a “compromise” deal that would overturn Vermont’s law and essentially ban meaningful GMO labels.

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Demanding Ban on Deadly Pesticides, Advocates Drop Millions of Dead Bees on EPA Doorstep 23.6.2016 CommonDreams.org Headlines
Nika Knight, staff writer

Advocating for a ban on toxic pesticides that have led to massive bee die-offs nationwide, a truck filled with millions of the dead pollinators has trundled across the country to reach its final destination on Wednesday afternoon: the front steps of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters in Washington, D.C.

"If we stop keeping bees, who's going to pollinate your fruits and vegetables? This can't go on."
—Roger Williams,
Central Maryland Beekeepers Association

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Millions of Dead Bees, Millions More Signatures Highlight Threat to Bees & Other Pollinators 22.6.2016 Commondreams.org Newswire
Friends of the Earth A truck full of dead bees will make its final stop at a rally outside the headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this afternoon, culminating a coast-to-coast tour to raise awareness about recent massive declines in pollinators. While the millions of dead bees will remain in the truck, advocates and beekeepers will deliver over 4 million signatures urging an immediate ban on bee-killing ...
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Land Grabs Soar, Worsening Land Conflicts and Climate Change 16.6.2016 Truthout.com
A woman farms with her cow in rural Bangladesh on May 13, 2007. (Photo: Jankie ) Industrial agriculture and financial sectors are hand-in-hand worsening climate change and then profiting from it, with an unprecedented number of land grabs over the last eight years, according to a report released Tuesday. The campaign group GRAIN explained that land grabs are heightening food insecurity, entrenching corporate agriculture schemes, and increasing and intensifying land conflicts. The wave of global land grabs borne out of the 2008 food and financial crises has now reached tsunami proportions, as GRAIN's research shows that the number of land grab initiatives has ballooned from 100 in 2008 to 491 in 2016, spanning 78 countries across the globe with large concentrations in Africa, and to a lesser extent in Latin America, East Asia and the Pacific. And climate change is compounding the situation. "We now have even more evidence that climate change is caused not just by burning coal and oil for transport and ...
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Women lead the fight against corporate agriculture around the world 16.6.2016 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
June 16, 2016 Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming. Around the world, women are pushing back against GMOs and corporate agriculture and building a food system that promotes health and justice for ...
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Pathways of Transition to Agroecological Food Systems 16.6.2016 Commondreams.org Views
Adam Parsons

An alternative vision of farming and food systems has long been upheld by civil society groups and small-scale producers around the world, based on the science of agroecology and the broader framework of food sovereignty. But while many reports and studies have shown how less intensive, diversified and sustainable farming methods can have far better outcomes than today’s corporate-dominated model of industrial agriculture, the question remains as to how we can make the shift towards agroecological systems on a global scale.

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Exposed: Pesticide Industry Deployed Aggressive Lobby Effort to Quash Bee Protections 15.6.2016 CommonDreams.org Headlines
Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Despite the abundance of scientific studies documenting the rapid and dangerous decline of pollinator populations, state and federal lawmakers have yet to pass any meaningful protections for bees.

The reason, according to the findings of a new investigation, is that pesticide giants such as Bayer, Monsanto, and Syngenta have deployed an aggressive lobbying campaign to dilute and suppress attempts to regulate their multi-billion dollar industry—with great success.

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Report: Pesticide Industry Delaying Bee Protections Across US 15.6.2016 Commondreams.org Newswire

Amid an ongoing pollinator crisis that threatens our food system, a new report issued today by Friends of the Earth documents how the pesticide industry has weakened and delayed pesticide reforms and is shaping new pollinator “protection” plans nationwide that do little to protect bees, but a lot to protect industry profits.

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Weather Forecasting and Sustainability Intersect On the Farm 15.6.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
With the release of such cultural touchstones as Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and Robert Kenner's Food, Inc., the late-aughts of this century saw interest in food systems make the leap from middle-America ag-extension stations to parental gossip sessions in playgrounds from coast to coast. A keyword search for "sustainable agriculture" on the New York Times' website yields 1,366 results since 2000, covering subtopics that range from locavorism to cover-cropping to Walmart's sourcing practices. In this unlikely intersection of agricultural science and popular culture, certain questions seem to dominate the discussion: Pesticides or no pesticides? Local or organic? USDA-certified or farmer's word? Natural or hormone-free or cage-free or free-range? This is a consumer-oriented discussion, designed to answer the (not-uncomplicated) question of, "What should I buy?" And although media coverage of grower-oriented sustainability metrics does exist, there's one factor that's been largely missing from ...
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National Keep the Hives Alive Tour Brings Urgency to Global Pollinator Decline 14.6.2016 Commondreams.org Newswire
Friends of the Earth The Keep the Hives Alive Tour kicks off today to raise awareness about the plight of mass bee die-offs and other pollinators. The tour is organized by beekeepers, farmers, farmworkers, scientists and advocates and will stop in South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina before and during National Pollinator Week, June ...
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Damning Report Reveals Palm Oil's Human Cost 9.6.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Palm oil: useful and ubiquitous, it also happens to be one of the most destructive ingredients on the planet. The industry has been linked to mass animal die-offs, widespread razing of rainforests, displacement of indigenous communities, climate change and pollution . Now, according to a new report , the palm oil industry may also be guilty of exploiting some of its labor force, allegedly exposing workers to hazardous chemicals without adequate protection and turning a blind eye to the use of child labor on plantations. Even more, these alleged violations may be occurring in the production of “sustainable” palm oil -- a product supposedly certified as transparent, ethical and environmentally sound, and produced by employees who are “responsibly considered.” “Unfortunately, these results were not shocking to find because they represent the tip of the iceberg of widespread and systemic exploitation and labor rights abuses taking place throughout the Indonesian and Malaysian palm oil sector,” Robin ...
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We Disrupted the Energy System--Let's Tackle the Food System, Too 8.6.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Government policies have ramped up clean energy development--why not clean food? (Chris Goldberg, via Flickr ) It was just a few decades ago that people started to see the breadth and depth of the flaws in our fossil fuel-based energy system. On its surface, fossil fuel energy seemed cheap and convenient; underneath, it was dirty, damaging to the climate and adept at making people sick. But because the system was backed by an entrenched, wealthy and politically powerful industry, change seemed impossible. Sound familiar? It's a lot like what we're seeing in our industrial food system today. Can we really reform this entrenched structure and change the way America feeds itself? Yes we can, and we can look to our successes with energy as a guide. I don't mean to suggest that our work on energy is done--far from it--but we have taken great strides toward making our energy system cleaner and more sustainable. Government efficiency standards played a big role in spurring companies to create better products, ...
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Dr. Shiv Chopra: Food safety, security and sovereignty all interlinked 6.6.2016 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 rabble spoke with Dr. Shiv Chopra, the Health Canada microbiologist who blew the whistle on bovine growth hormone (rBGH) in milk, about food safety, health and trade deals. Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming. Recently rabble had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Shiv Chopra, the Health Canada microbiologist who blew the whistle on bovine growth hormone (rBGH) in milk. The following is an excerpt from that interview where we spoke about food safety, our health and trade deals.   How did you come to be traveling across the country to talk about food security and ...
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The Women Who Are Taking on Walmart 5.6.2016 Truthout - All Articles
Denise Barlage and Venanzi Luna. (Photo: Liz Cooke, CC BY ) Pico Rivera is a dusty working-class Latino suburb of Los Angeles. After the school district, Walmart is the city's  largest employer  and the source of 10 percent of its tax revenue. More than 500 families in the town depend on income from the store. The town is also the epicenter of activism by Walmart workers in the United States. Walmart associates have been fighting for four years to pressure the world's largest private employer to grant its workers decent conditions, a living wage and regular hours. Last fall, I flew to Los Angeles to interview Pico Walmart workers for a book I'm writing about the 21st-century struggle by workers worldwide for a living wage. The Pico workers helped to galvanize that movement by organizing the first strike against a U.S. Walmart in 2012. Since that time, the world has seen  expansive organizing  by garment workers, farm workers, fast food and retail workers from Capetown to Canada, Bangladesh to Brazil and ...
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'Overwhelming' Evidence Shows Path is Clear: It's Time to Ditch Industrial Agriculture for Good 3.6.2016 CommonDreams.org Headlines
Andrea Germanos, staff writer

If you can count as successes increased greenhouse gases, ecosystem degradation, rises in hunger and obesity, and unbalanced power in food systems, then industrial agriculture has done one heck of a job.

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Leading Organic Industry Watchdog Blasts USDA 1.6.2016 Commondreams.org Newswire
Cornucopia Institute After years of delay, the United States Department of Agriculture recently released their long-anticipated draft rule to address lapses in organic animal welfare standards. The nation’s most prominent organic industry watchdog, The Cornucopia Institute, blasts the proposal as being designed to further divide the industry, calling it, “a cynical excuse for the USDA to delay addressing widespread violations of the current law, in the interest of supporting industrial ...
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Is Buying Organic Really Worth It? 1.6.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Buying organic food typically involves shelling out a premium. But is the extra pinch to the pocket actually worth it? Last week, a Department of Agriculture report revealed just how much it really costs to shop organic. Organic eggs, milk and salad greens can cost upwards of 60 percent more than conventional alternatives, while items like apples, carrots, granola and spinach carry premiums of between 7 and 30 percent, the study said. Producing organic food tends to be  costlier along every part of the supply chain -- including farming practices that usually require greater labor inputs and segregating organic ingredients from conventional ones. Though there may be logical reasons for the heftier price tag, does it really make sense as a consumer to pay more for organic food? The answer, it turns out, is anything but straightforward. Here, we explore this hotly contested issue. What the heck does organic mean anyway? Organic produce, according to the USDA, must be grown without synthetic pesticides, ...
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Drones, Data and Insects: How Innovation Can Make the Food System More Sustainable 1.6.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Ag tech is booming, and it has the potential to redefine how and where we farm, including on fish farms like this one. (GoodLife Studio/IStock) Here at Earthjustice, we're taking a closer look at maggots. It turns out these little bugs, the larvae of the black soldier fly, can be part of a major leap forward in the production of sustainable food--for fish. Farmed fish today are mostly fed unsustainably on a diet of small wild fish, which are vanishing. But fish on farms also like to eat insect larvae, and these larvae like to eat waste. Using larvae to manage waste and provide feed for fish farms would be a major coup, and several companies around the world are already working on it. U.S. outfits, however, risk being left behind because of laws that make it easier to to feed insects to people than to feed them to fish. My colleagues and I are exploring ways we can bring down legislative barriers to innovations that hold promise for cleaning up our food system. Once the domain of corporate giants like ...
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Dow-DuPont Merger Will Cripple Farmers and Food Sovereignty, Groups Warn 31.5.2016 CommonDreams.org Headlines
Nika Knight, staff writer

Public interest groups urged the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to block the mega-merger of chemical corporations Dow and DuPont, which the organizations argue is part of a larger effort to put a "corporate cabal" in charge of the nation's food system.

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Organic Farmers Are Not Anti-Science, but Genetic Engineers Often Are 31.5.2016 Truthout - All Articles
Opponents of GMOs, including organic farmers, are routinely being called anti-science. But it isn't organic farmers preventing independent university researchers from accessing their seeds, or ignoring scientific evidence of rising pesticide use and human harm. So, who are the real anti-scientists? Scientific evidence shows that the widespread adoption of genetically engineered crops in the US has led to an increase in pesticides used in agriculture -- and an increase in the residues of pesticides left in foods, among other disturbing trends. (Photo: GWP ) At one of the public brainstorming sessions for the New York Organic Action Plan, an organic farmer made an impassioned plea for support for "independent science" and told us that with 8.5 billion mouths to feed by 2050, we will need genetic engineering to prevent starvation. I would like to examine these words carefully to decipher what they mean, how those words are used by this farmer and by others, and suggest how the movement for locally grown ...
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