World food shortages to stay, riots a risk: FAO
April 9, 2008 07:32 AM - Reuters
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Food riots which have struck several impoverished countries could spread with shortages and high prices set to continue for some time, the head of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said. A combination of high oil and fuel prices, rising demand for food in a wealthier Asia, the use of farmland and crops for biofuels, bad weather and speculation on futures markets have pushed up food prices, prompting violent protests in a handful of poor states.
Indonesia MP detained over forestry graft probe
April 9, 2008 07:01 AM - Reuters
JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's anti-graft body has detained for questioning a member of parliament in a suspected bribery case related to land use in protected forests in Riau islands off Sumatra, agency officials said on Wednesday. Five people, including the member of parliament, were detained in a five-star Jakarta hotel and a total of about 70 million rupiah ($7,599) was found in a room and a car, said Johan Budi, a spokesman for the agency, known as KPK.
California Threatens to Outlaw Sales of Raw Milk
April 7, 2008 08:22 AM - , Organic Consumers Association
California raw milk producers warn that a new law to impose strict requirements on raw milk, will outlaw and require the disposal of perfectly safe milk. AB 1735 requires that all raw milk sold in California be tested for 10 coliform bacteria per milliliter or less. But raw milk producers and activists say that most coliform bacteria is perfectly safe, and that tests are already carried out for a handful of such bacteria, including E. coli 0157:h7 and Listeria monocytogenes, that can cause disease in humans. The new law does not require testing for those bacteria.
More Companies Discontinuing Farm Animal Confinement
April 7, 2008 08:19 AM - Ben Block, Worldwatch Institute
More companies around the world are adjusting their farm-animal confinement policies and requesting clarification of consumer labels to reflect these changes. The moves come largely in response to U.S. voter-led initiatives and the implementation of farm policy reforms in the European Union. Animal confinement - forcing dense populations of chickens, pigs, or young cattle into cages, crates, or tight pens to more efficiently utilize farm space - is a common practice in the United States, Europe, and increasingly the developing world.
Bangladesh company makes yarn from cotton waste
April 2, 2008 07:28 AM - Reuters
DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh has begun producing environmentally friendly yarn from cotton waste to save foreign currency on imports, a local company said on Wednesday. "We have set up the factory to produce cotton yarn by using waste from ready-made garment products to export to foreign markets," said Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez, managing director of Evitex Polycot Limited (EPL).
World Mayors Propose Urban Water Declaration
April 1, 2008 09:40 AM - , Worldwatch Institute
Ankara, Turkey's capital and second largest city, dried up last summer. Faced with low rainfall and a shrinking reservoir, the city of 4 million resorted to water rationing. Hospitals delayed surgeries. Stray dogs died in the streets. Mayor Melih Gokcek asked residents to "wash your hair, not your bodies" and came under heavy criticism for alleged water mismanagement. In an effort to be better prepared for future droughts as well as the catastrophic dry spells expected to accompany climate change, Turkey's leaders and the World Water Council (WWC), a multi-stakeholder group based in Marseilles, France, are proposing a global declaration on urban water management strategies.
A Fake Group Fights for Monsanto's Right to Deceive You
April 1, 2008 09:34 AM - , Organic Consumers Association
The American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology, or Afact, calls itself a "grass-roots organization" that came together to defend their right to use the artificial growth hormone recombinant bovine somatotropin, also known as rBST or rBGH, in their milk production. What they do not tell you is that Afact is not only an organization of dairy farmers. The group actually has close ties to Monsanto, the makers of rBGH, which is marketed under the brand name Posilac.
"Organic" Milk Class-Action Lawsuit is Underway
March 31, 2008 09:15 AM - , Organic Consumers Association
Attorneys representing 52 consumers in a lawsuit against Boulder, Colorado-based Aurora Organic Dairy and some of the nation's largest retailers will face off in court today at the federal court in the Eastern District of Missouri, Judge Richard Webber, presiding. The consumers allege that the milk they purchased, although labeled as "organic", did not meet federal organic standards. Their attorneys will argue claims including breach of contract and of implied warranty, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and also claims under the consumer protection and deceptive trade practices statutes of several states.
Why Monsanto Doesn't Want You to Know About Those Hormones in Your Dairy
March 27, 2008 09:43 AM - , Organic Consumers Association
New York state dairy farmer John Bunting doesn't use an artificial bovine growth hormone on his cows for one key reason. He doesn't want them getting sick. "I care about my cows," he said, "I like my cows." The growth hormone in question is made by the Monsanto Company. The current debate about Monsanto's hormone involves labels. The multinational agricultural biotech company seems to be getting nervous about the prospect of telling consumers what's in their milk - or rather, what's not in their milk.
Climate change threatens Amazonian small farmers
March 26, 2008 09:36 AM - Indiana University
A six-year study of Amazonian small farmers and their responses to climate change shows the farmers are vulnerable to natural catastrophes and risky land use practices, say Indiana University Bloomington anthropologists Eduardo Brondizio and Emilio Moran. The researchers report in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (now accessible online) that an increase in climate anomalies like El Nino could ultimately drive many small farmers to ruin, forcing them into Brazilian cities that may be ill-equipped to employ, house and feed them.