Agriculture

Something Fishy? Counterfeit Foods Enter the U.S. Market
January 21, 2009 08:52 AM - Organic Consumers Association

Some of your favorite foods may be fakes. Foods masquerading as something else - a more nutritious something else - have been big news in the past two years. Chinese food companies in particular have been blamed for making deadly alterations to dairy, baby and pet foods by adding melamine. The chemical makes it appear that the food or beverage has the required level of protein. But what about food producers in this country? What fraudulent foods do U.S. consumers have to fear from American companies?

With No Doha Conclusion in Sight, WTO Considers How to Proceed
January 21, 2009 08:23 AM - World Business Council for Sustainable Development

New negotiating texts released in early December failed to inspire confidence among WTO Members that ministers would succeed in clinching a framework deal on agriculture and industrial market access (see pages 5 and 7). Bowing to the inevitable, WTO Director General Pascal Lamy told the membership on 12 December that his consultations with capitals had not revealed “a readiness to spend the political capital” needed to reach an agreement. The US had particularly little room to manoeuvre after its main farming and manufacturing lobbies, as well as a bi-partisan group of senators, advised against a ministerial meeting. Indian officials also expressed serious doubts over the likelihood of achieving convergence. Traditional grumblings from mercantilist perspectives were promptly heard from many corners on the terms of the market access texts on the table.

Study Says Wild-Harvested Plants and Animals are Now About 20 Percent Smaller
January 20, 2009 09:13 AM - Organic Consumers Association

Policymakers may not intend to keep us trim when they're pondering how to manage fisheries and other wild food resources. But a new study indicates that our current food-harvesting practices are making the stuff we eat smaller - very quickly. The study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that plants and animals being harvested aggressively around the world from the wild (rather than from farms) are changing more than two and a half times faster than would be expected under natural conditions.

Developing Country Action on Global Warming: Speech of South African Minister
January 16, 2009 09:54 AM - Global Warming is Real

I just wrapped up an event that NRDC co-hosted with Climate Change Capitalon Emerging Strategies for International Climate & Investment Policy on Capital Hill. The event was aimed at beginning a serious discussion about how to structure international incentives to encourage greater emissions reductions in developing countries in the post-2012 agreement in Copenhagen (Dec. 2009). We had the pleasure of having Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk of the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism provide a keynote address. He is a powerful leader amongst developing countries and South Africa is staking out a leadership role in battling global warming. In July 2008, South Africa announced a Cabinet-level commitment to have theirglobal warming pollution peak, plateau, and decline.

EU environment agency outlines challenges for 2009
January 15, 2009 08:49 AM - WBCSD

Tackling climate change and its consequences, reforming the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, improving air quality and reducing the environmental impact of biofuels will top the bloc's environmental policy debates in the coming year, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA). The agency's 'snapshot' of key environmental policy debates in 2009 singles out "global diplomacy and the search for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol" as the main topic to be discussed, followed by adapting to climate change and water-management issues.

Abalone Aquaculture Dialogue to Meet in South Africa in February
January 12, 2009 08:46 AM - WWF

WASHINGTON, DC: The development of global standards for certifying farmed abalone will be the focus of the next meeting of the Abalone Aquaculture Dialogue, to be held February 16-17 in Cape Town, South Africa. The standards will help minimize the eight key environmental and social impacts associated with abalone production. Also at the meeting, participants will identify people to serve on the steering committee that will manage the Dialogue process. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) coordinates the Dialogue but has an equal voice in the roundtable discussions.

How You Can Start a Farm in Heart of the City
January 12, 2009 08:32 AM - Organic Consumers Association

Imagine sitting down to a salad of peppery arugula and heirloom tomatoes that you grew yourself. Or a Sunday omelet of eggs laid that morning, served with a thick slice of fresh sourdough, butter and apricot jam -- all homemade, of course. Or imagine toasting your friends with a mead made from local honey. Where would you have to move to live like this? A commune in Vermont? A villa in Italy? My husband Erik and I have done all of this in our little bungalow in Los Angeles, two blocks off of Sunset Boulevard. We grow food and preserve it, recycle water, forage the neighborhood, and build community. We're urban homesteaders.

Billions face food shortages, study warns
January 9, 2009 08:18 AM - The Guardian

Half of the world's population could face severe food shortages by the end of the century as rising temperatures take their toll on farmers' crops, scientists have warned. Harvests of staple food crops such as rice and maize could fall by between 20% and 40% as a result of higher temperatures during the growing season in the tropics and subtropics. Warmer temperatures in the region are also expected to increase the risk of drought, cutting crop losses further, according to a new study.

EPA ‘Not Proposing A Cow Tax’
January 8, 2009 08:39 AM - By Nicholas L. Dean ndean@post-journal.com

When U.S. Senator Charles Schumer came out against the idea of a cow tax in December, he explained that though there was no formal proposal, his opposition was an attempt to squash the idea in its infancy. The tax idea was a part of the Environmental Protection Agency's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released in July 2008.

What you eat can help the environment, too
January 7, 2009 08:44 AM - EveningEdge.com

Can what you eat be more important to the environment than what you drive? Kate Geagan, registered dietitian in Park City, Utah, says Americans have an “SUV eating style” that contributes to global warming more than the cars we drive. Her book, “Go Green Get Lean: Trim Your Waistline With the Ultimate Low-Carbon Footprint Diet,” will be published in March (Rodale, $19.95). I interviewed Geagan about food habits and the connection to the environment and asked her to share tips with consumers about the advantages of eating green.

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