Agriculture

"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.

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.

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