Agriculture

U.S. Using Food Crisis to Boost Bio-Engineered Crops
May 15, 2008 09:04 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

The Bush administration has slipped a controversial ingredient into the $770 million aid package it recently proposed to ease the world food crisis, adding language that would promote the use of genetically modified crops in food-deprived countries. The value of genetically modified, or bio-engineered, food is an intensely disputed issue in the U.S. and in Europe, where many countries have banned foods made from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

OPINION: Water Trading in China: A Step Toward Sustainability
May 14, 2008 09:09 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

In recent years, scarcity and pollution of water have become the paramount environmental woe in China. Numerous reports and books have exposed China's water crisis, depicting a nation suffering in the face of black-running rivers and dried-up waterways. Nationwide, the per capita availability of fresh water is only one-quarter of the world average.

Companies preparing to rule 'climate ready' crop market -- report

Some of the world's largest biotechnology companies have filed hundreds of patents on "climate ready" gene-altered crops, hoping to dominate a market expected to emerge as farmers respond to environmental stresses caused by global warming, an advocacy group for subsistence farmers said in a report today. BASF, Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, Dupont and biotech partners have filed 532 patent documents around the world for crops genetically altered to adapt to rising temperatures, the ETC Group's report says.

Global agriculture report says GM crops not a solution
May 14, 2008 08:22 AM - , The Organic and Non-GMO Report

A landmark assessment of global agriculture says industrial agriculture has failed and that genetically modified (GM) crops are not a solution for poverty, hunger, or climate change.

Solving the Energy, Climate & Food Crisis: Why We Should Support the Revitalization of Small Farms in the Global South
May 13, 2008 09:42 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

The Via Campesina has long argued that farmers need land to produce food for their own communities and for their country and for this reason has advocated for genuine agrarian reforms to access and control land, water, agrobiodiversity, etc, which are of central importance for communities to be able to meet growing food demands. The Via Campesina believes that in order to protect livelihoods, jobs, people's food security and health, as well as the environment, food production has to remain in the hands of small-scale sustainable farmers and cannot be left under the control of large agribusiness companies or supermarket chains.

Sweet sorghum promoted as "smart" biofuel
May 12, 2008 04:15 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A corn-like plant that can grow as high as an elephant's eye on some of Earth's driest farmland shows promise as a "smart" biofuel that won't cut into world food supplies, an agriculture expert said on Monday.

The Perfect Food Shortage
May 12, 2008 08:59 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

The United Nations is calling the recent increase in world hunger a "silent tsunami," as if it was triggered by an event at the bottom of the ocean. I'd call the crisis a storm, brewed by several converging forces, all of which, it turns out, are man-made. It's a storm that some have been predicting for a long time, and now, finally, the U.N. is taking notice.

Genetic sleuths unmask secrets of big tomatoes
May 12, 2008 08:22 AM - Reuters

The secret behind growing large tomatoes lies not in the fertilizer or the perfect soil conditions, but in just a few genetic changes that over time have resulted in tomatoes 1,000 times bigger than their wild ancestors, U.S. researchers said on Sunday. Without these changes, tomatoes would be little more than berries on a bush.

New Generation of Farmers and Farmers Markets in California
May 8, 2008 08:07 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

THERE'S been a changing of the guard at the Coleman Family Farm stand at the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Wednesday mornings. Ask Bill Coleman a question and he's likely to answer, "Ask Romey." Romey -- Romeo on his birth certificate -- is Coleman's son and though his eventually becoming the boss was expected, it nonetheless comes as a bit of a surprise to longtime market shoppers who might still think of him as the kid they watched grow up.

In food price crunch, more Americans seek help
May 7, 2008 10:06 AM - Reuters

BALTIMORE (Reuters) - Carolyn Stanley, a single mother with five children, receives $327 in food stamps each month to feed her family. With prices for staples like bread and cheese going ever higher, each month is harder than the last. She buys hot dogs over higher-quality meat and feeds her kids cereal, but even with other government support she often has to seek help from local churches and from friends.

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