Agriculture

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.

Western Canadian pine beetle infestation spreads
March 26, 2008 07:49 AM - Reuters

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - About half of the marketable pine trees in West Coast Canadian province of British Columbia have been ravaged by a nearly decade-long beetle infestation, according to new government statistics. The outbreak of mountain pine beetles has affected trees over an area of 13.5 million hectares (33.4 million acres) in the Western Canadian province, which is a major source of softwood lumber exports to the United States.

How Safe is the U.S. Food Supply ?
March 25, 2008 09:15 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Jill Kohl was a healthy young woman in early August 2006. A marathon runner, the 2000 Wahlert High School graduate was attending graduate school in Milwaukee. She ran regularly and was careful to eat a diet of healthy foods. But just a few days after eating a spinach salad late that month, Kohl started to experience flu-like symptoms.

Australian wine industry feels heat from climate change
March 25, 2008 08:18 AM - Reuters

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian grape growers reckon they are the canary in the coalmine of global warming, as a long drought forces winemakers to rethink the styles of wine they can produce and the regions they can grow in. The three largest grape-growing regions in Australia, the driest inhabited continent on earth, all depend on irrigation to survive. The high cost of water has made life tough for growers.

Wal-Mart Move 'TIpping Point' for Driving Monsanto's Bovine Growth Hormone off the Market
March 24, 2008 09:53 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Organic food proponents will remember Thursday as the day the ground shifted. Giant food retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced that its store brand milk in the United States will now come exclusively from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones.

A Daily Dose of Antioxidants?
March 24, 2008 09:37 AM - USDA

We’ve all read about the antioxidant superstars—the blueberries, blackberries, and cherries, for instance—that are so effective at squelching the audacious free radicals that bombard our bodies’ delicate cells every day. But few studies have been aimed at investigating how well our bodies use these antioxidant-rich foods—and whether or not their soaring ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) scores really translate into practical, disease-fighting capabilities in humans.

Heads Monsanto Wins, Tails We Lose
March 22, 2008 09:27 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

There have been few experiments as reckless, overhyped and with as little potential upside as the rapid rollout of genetically modified crops. Last month, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), a pro-biotech nonprofit, released a report highlighting the proliferation of genetically modified crops. According to ISAAA, biotech crop area grew 12 percent, or 12. 3 million hectares, to reach 114. 3 million hectares in 2007, the second highest area increase in the past five years.

Melting glaciers will shrink grain harvests in China and India.
March 21, 2008 09:36 AM - Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute

The world is now facing a climate-driven shrinkage of river-based irrigation water supplies. Mountain glaciers in the Himalayas and on the Tibet-Qinghai Plateau are melting and could soon deprive the major rivers of India and China of the ice melt needed to sustain them during the dry season. In the Ganges, the Yellow, and the Yangtze river basins, where irrigated agriculture depends heavily on rivers, this loss of dry-season flow will shrink harvests.

Panel Backs GMO Taro Ban
March 20, 2008 10:15 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

WAILUKU - A resolution urging a hold on research involving genetic modification of taro was advanced Wednesday by the County Council Public Works and Facilities Committee. The resolution supports a bill pending before the state Legislature that would put a 10-year moratorium on developing, testing and growing genetically modified taro plants. Supporters in the audience, many of them taro farmers from East Maui, applauded as the committee voted to recommend the resolution with a 5-0 vote.

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