Agriculture

GOING, GOING, GONE? New Satellite Images Reveal a Shrinking Amazon Rainforest
April 17, 2008 08:32 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

Washington, D.C.- Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon may be on the rise, according to high-resolution images released by an agency of the Brazilian government. The images suggest an end to a widely hailed three-year decline in the rate of deforestation and have spurred a public controversy among high-level Brazilian officials, writes Tim Hirsch, author of "The Incredible Shrinking Amazon Rainforest" in the May/June 2008 issue of World Watch magazine.

Agriculture - The Need for Change
April 16, 2008 09:02 AM - United Nations Environment Programme

Washington/London/Nairobi/Delhi, 15 April 2008 - The way the world grows its food will have to change radically to better serve the poor and hungry if the world is to cope with a growing population and climate change while avoiding social breakdown and environmental collapse. That is the message from the report of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development, a major new report by over 400 scientists which is launched today. The assessment was considered by 64 governments at an intergovernmental plenary in Johannesburg last week.

World must reform agriculture now or face dire crisis: report

The world will face social upheaval and environmental disasters if agriculture is not radically reformed to better serve the poor and hungry, a landmark UN-sponsored report said Tuesday. The warning in the report by the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) comes amid growing discontent among the world's poorest over rising food prices.

"Consumers for World Trade" Another Fake Grassroots Corporate Front Group Bites the Dust
April 14, 2008 08:37 AM - Bob Burton, PR Watch, Organic Consumers Association

Consumers for World Trade (CWT), which describes itself as being a "network of consumers," is enthusiastic about everything from the right of the U.S. President to negotiate free trade agreements, slashing import duties and quotas on items such as footwear and apparel and opposing mandatory country-of-origin labeling. You'd be right in thinking this doesn't sound like a normal consumer group, but exactly who they are is not immediately obvious. A little digging though, reveals that CWT is just another front group trying to wrap a self-serving corporate message in a public interest name.

Halt in U.S. Pacific salmon fishing urged
April 12, 2008 08:24 AM - Reuters

SEATTLE (Reuters) - West Coast fisheries managers recommended on Thursday to halt virtually all commercial and sport salmon fishing in coastal waters off California and most of Oregon to preserve collapsing Chinook salmon stocks. The Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended what would be the strictest limits ever imposed on salmon fishing on the West Coast following a sharp decline on California's Sacramento River Chinook salmon run, typically one of the region's most abundant runs.

USDA Strong-Arming Organic Farmers to Join Big Brother-Like National Animal Identification System
April 11, 2008 10:00 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Livestock producers who sign up for marketing programs such as Process Verified, Certified Organic and Non-Hormone Treated Cattle may find themselves automatically registered in the National Animal Identification System. The USDA's Agricultural Marketing System's Business Plan, officially released last week, circumvents the opposition to NAIS, mostly from family farmers and small specialty producers, who participate in the AMS programs.

Farm Bill is Loaded with Pork and Environmentally Disastrous Provisions
April 11, 2008 09:02 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

f you've ever driven through the southern end of California's Central Valley in September, you're familiar with the grids of lint-strewn cotton fields that blur by for nearly 2 1/2 hours. You might even have pondered the wisdom of planting such a thirsty crop as cotton on a million acres -- an area larger than Yosemite National Park -- in a state facing a water crisis. Then again, you might ask a similar question about the half a million acres of rice, a grain adapted to the monsoons of Asia, on the valley's northern end.

Can Amazonian Beef Be Sustainable?
April 11, 2008 08:56 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

One of Brazil's largest beef-export companies is expanding its Amazon operations, thanks in part to funding from the World Bank's private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation. The IFC says its investment is part of an historic effort to make cattle ranching in the region sustainable, but some environmentalists are skeptical.

Regulators urge halt in U.S. Pacific salmon fishing
April 11, 2008 08:31 AM - Reuters

SEATTLE (Reuters) - U.S. West Coast fisheries managers recommended on Thursday to halt virtually all commercial and sport salmon fishing in coastal waters off California and most of Oregon to preserve collapsing Chinook salmon stocks. The Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended what would be the strictest limits ever imposed on salmon fishing on the West Coast following a sharp decline on California's Sacramento River Chinook salmon run, typically one of the region's most abundant runs.

Food Prices Spiral Out of Control in the Developing World
April 10, 2008 09:50 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

These days you hear a lot about the world financial crisis. But there's another world crisis under way - and it's hurting a lot more people. I'm talking about the food crisis. Over the past few years the prices of wheat, corn, rice and other basic foodstuffs have doubled or tripled, with much of the increase taking place just in the last few months. High food prices dismay even relatively well-off Americans - but they're truly devastating in poor countries, where food often accounts for more than half a family's spending.

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