User: flenvcenter Topic: Food-Independent
Category: Food Production :: Industrial Agriculture
Last updated: Oct 31 2017 19:56 IST RSS 2.0
 
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An Environmental and Public Health Disaster Awaits -- if USDA Gives Organic Label to Hydroponics 31.10.2017 Truthout.com
Choose journalism that empowers movements for social, environmental and economic justice: Support the independent media at Truthout! Whether food production entails acres of mono-crops, livestock shuttled through assembly lines or orderly tracks of plastic pipelines in factory-scale hydroponics spaces, streamlined production techniques tempt food producers to improve on nature, without necessarily assessing the long-term health or environmental costs. Even an apparently benign innovation, like hydroponics, may convey unexpected downsides. Despite each new agricultural novelty, 17 years after the  US Department of Agriculture  established the Organic Standards, earth-based farming remains the oldest and most proven method for cultivating organic food. A coalition of farmers, sustainability advocates and foodies wants to keep it that way. "If we want to protect the integrity of the organic seal, we will have to fight for it," says Lisa Stokke, founder of  Next7 , which has launched a campaign to raise ...
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A water-bottling plant creates a rift in Montana 26.10.2017 High Country News Most Recent
Opponents say a proposal is tilting Flathead Valley development toward corporate interests.
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Americans' Appetite for Cheap Meat Linked to Widespread Drinking Water Contamination 20.10.2017 Truthout - All Articles
Agricultural pollution is contaminating drinking water supplies for millions of Americans with potentially dangerous chemicals, says a new report. Environmental groups blame the meat industry, which requires massive supplies of industrially grown corn and soy to raise cattle, and are putting pressure on large-scale meat producers to get their supply chains to clean up their acts. Scientists recently announced that the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico, an area the size of New Jersey where oxygen levels are too low to sustain most forms of life, is larger than ever. For years, environmentalists have used annual surveys of the dead zone to bring attention to large amounts of agricultural pollution from the nation's breadbasket that flows down the Mississippi River and fuels oxygen-depleting algae blooms in the Gulf.    This year, the message is hitting much closer to home, especially for those living near farmlands. A new  report  from the Environmental Working Group shows that the agricultural pollution ...
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Canadian First Nations call for eviction of fish farms 20.10.2017 High Country News Most Recent
British Columbia protests are rooted in a deeper conversation on Indigenous rights.
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Getting behind the debate over lab-grown meat 17.10.2017 Business Operations | GreenBiz.com
The dialogue over human health, equity and the sustainable future of our food system is just beginning.
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Have Monsanto and the Biotech Industry Turned Natural Bt Pesticides Into GMO "Super Toxins"? 11.10.2017 Truthout - All Articles
In times of great injustice, independent media is crucial to fighting back against misinformation. Support grassroots journalism: Make a donation to Truthout by clicking here. Is the supposed safety advantage of GMO crops over conventional chemical pesticides a mirage? According to biotech lore, the Bt pesticides introduced into many GMO food crops are natural proteins whose toxic activity extends  only to narrow groups of insect species . Therefore, says the industry, these pesticides can all be safely eaten, e.g. by humans. This is not the interpretation we arrived at after our analysis of the documents accompanying the commercial approval of 23 typical Bt-containing GMO crops, however (see  Latham et al., 2017 , just published in the journal Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews). In our publication, authored along with Madeleine Love and Angelika Hilbeck, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), we show that commercial GMO Bt toxins differ greatly from their natural precursors. ...
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It's time to nix neonics 11.10.2017 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
David Suzuki The Canadian government is banning plastic microbeads in toiletries. Although designed to clean us, they're polluting the environment, putting the health of fish, wildlife and people at risk. Manufacturers and consumers ushered plastic microbeads into the marketplace, but when we learned of their dangers, we moved to phase them out. Why, then, is it taking so long to phase out the world's most widely used insecticides, neonicotinoids? Scientists have proven they're harming not only the pests they're designed to kill, but also a long list of non-target species, including pollinators we rely on globally for about one-third of food crops. Neonics are systemic pesticides. Plants absorb and integrate them into all tissues -- roots, stems, leaves, flowers, pollen and nectar. First introduced in the 1990s, they now account for one-third of the global pesticide market. Agricultural applications include leaf sprays, and seed and soil treatments. They're also used for trees, turf products, and flea ...
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Why is anyone surprised that a chicken factory engages in questionable activity? 29.9.2017 TreeHugger
The entire industrial food system, after all, is built on cutting corners, from raising animals to consuming them.
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As oceans acidify, shellfish farmers respond 18.9.2017 Current Issue
Scientists collaborate to mitigate climate impacts in the Northwest.
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Can farmed fish save aquaculture? 14.9.2017 Energy & Climate | Greenbiz.com
This is the fastest growing segment of agriculture, and it answers the needs both to make more and use less.
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Scientists developed "smart fertilizer" 5.9.2017 Environmental News Network
According to the head of the works Tatiana Volova, Professor of SibFU and the Head of Laboratory in the Institute of Biophysics KSC of SB RAS, development of a new generation of drugs with the use of bio-decomposable materials which decompose under the influence of the microflora to innocuous products and provide a gradual release of the active principle into the soil, is the newest area of research in the field of agriculture. For example, nitrogen is one of the elements, which is often lacking for the growth and development of plants. Plant-available nitrogen in the soil is usually small. Moreover, its compounds are chemically very mobile and easily leached from the soil. In this connection there is the task of developing such forms of nitrogen fertilizers that provide slow release nitrogen and the constancy of its concentration in the soil.
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How Cargill's employee summit put sustainability on the menu 5.9.2017 Business Operations | GreenBiz.com
How does a company inspire and empower employees to embrace — and help shape — its sustainability strategy? Cargill created a pretty good recipe.
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"They're Hollowing Out Rural Communities": Why We Need to Oppose Corporate Consolidation 28.8.2017 Truthout - All Articles
Austin Frerick, who recently announced his candidacy for Iowa's 3rd congressional district Democratic primary, has made it a central point of his campaign to prevent monopolies from forming. Frerick, 27, a former economist at the Department of Treasury, is part of a wave of younger progressives running for office as progressive Democrats. The logo of German chemicals giant Bayer stands over the company's factory and site of its corporate headquarters on June 2, 2016, in Leverkusen, Germany. Bayer is seeking to acquire US company Monsanto. (Photo: Volker Hartmann / Getty Images) Across all financial sectors -- whether it's telecommunications, energy, transportation, tech or agriculture -- the largest multinational corporations are actively seeking to consolidate their global power by acquiring their competition. "Merger mania," as it's known on Wall Street, is not a new development, rather a perennial economic phenomenon. But while lucrative for a company's shareholders and CEOs, history has shown us time ...
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Farm-to-School Movement Fights for a Foothold in Corn Belt Cafeterias 18.8.2017 Truthout.com
As the movement for a local and ethical food system continues to gain traction, school food is slowly but surely becoming a focus in the fight for change.  School districts serve lunch to 30.4 million students a day through the USDA's National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The NSLP provides cash subsidies and USDA foods to enrolled schools, which in turn provide free and low-cost meals for qualifying students. In total, meals served through the NSLP amount to as many as 5 billion per year . Due to the program's scale and the influence of Big Ag interests, the lion's share of food served through the NSLP has typically been sourced from large-scale producers, transported from afar and heavily processed. The resulting meals are often less than nutritious. In 2009, the ground beef the USDA bought from five major meatpackers and distributed through the program failed to meet the quality standards of most fast food restaurants. But two initiatives, the farm-to-school movement and the Good Food Purchasing Policy ...
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Pesticides Prevalent in Midwestern Streams 10.8.2017 Environmental News Network
One hundred small streams in the Midwest were tested for pesticides during the 2013 growing season and found to contain, on average, 52 pesticides per streamMore than 180 pesticides and their by-products were detected in small streams throughout 11 Midwestern states, some at concentrations likely to harm aquatic insects, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.
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When genetic engineering is the environmentally friendly choice 9.8.2017 GreenBiz.com
CRISPR gene editing can fight crop disease far more benignly than conventional practices.
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Moby, Russell Simmons And Others Speak Out On An Issue That Needs Our Immediate Attention 24.7.2017 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
"Going vegan was the most important lifestyle change I made."
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Moby, Russell Simmons and Others Speak Out on an Issue that Needs Our Immediate Attention 24.7.2017 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Featuring remarks from Gene Baur, Jenny Brown, Sylvia Earle, Jane Goodall, Bill Maher, Moby, Kathy Najimy, Ingrid Newkirk
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Corporate Agricultural Dumping: Growing the Wealth Gap 21.7.2017 Truthout - All Articles
The Trump administration is threatening to crack down on foreign steel producers who are allegedly dumping cheap steel into the US market. "Dumping," the practice of exporting goods at prices lower than in the country where the goods are produced, is widely considered an unfair way to gain foreign market share. But you're unlikely to hear Trump officials complain about dumping in agricultural trade because in this sector, it's the US exporters who are at fault. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) has used World Trade Organization formulas to document the systematic dumping of US grown agricultural commodities (specifically wheat, soybeans, corn, cotton, and rice) for two decades. They found that in the wake of the volatile commodity markets that dominated in the period from 2007 to 2013, export prices largely exceeded production costs. In recent years, however, US agricultural commodity dumping has started again. According to  IATP's calculations , in 2015 US wheat was exported at 32 ...
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The women confronting California’s farm conditions 20.7.2017 High Country News Most Recent
Female farmworkers face sexual assault, pesticide exposure and low wages.
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