Agriculture

New bacteria discovered in raw milk
November 17, 2008 08:27 AM - Society for General Microbiology

Raw milk is illegal in many countries as it can be contaminated with potentially harmful microbes. Contamination can also spoil the milk, making it taste bitter and turn thick and sticky. Now scientists have discovered new species of bacteria that can grow at low temperatures, spoiling raw milk even when it is refrigerated. According to research published in the November issue of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, the microbial population of raw milk is much more complex than previously thought.

Fruit and veg boom needed to feed Britain
November 17, 2008 08:15 AM - http://www.guardian.co.uk

It is an image worthy of a Keats poem or a Constable landscape: great orchards bursting with fruit, fields crammed with ripening vegetables and hillsides covered with sheep and cattle. But this is no dream of long-gone rural glories. It is a vision of the kind of countryside that Britain may need if it is to survive the impact of climate change and higher oil prices, according to leading agricultural experts.

OPINION: Chinese Farms A Growing Challenge
November 11, 2008 09:08 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

For decades, researchers and policymakers have raised a worrying question about the world's most populous country: "Who will feed China?" Today, while concern about reaching 1.3 billion mouths remains paramount, the phrasing has changed slightly: "Who will feed China'spigs?"

Study Leaves Decision On Asian Oyster to States
November 10, 2008 09:17 AM - Washington Post

A U.S. government study of the risks and rewards involved in seeding the Chesapeake Bay with an Asian oyster has found, after four years and $15 million, that the plan could have both -- punting the controversial question back to officials in Maryland and Virginia.

Eight nations warn EU over biofuel barriers
November 6, 2008 09:19 AM - http://www.reuters.com

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Eight developing countries warned the European Union on Thursday they could file a World Trade Organization complaint over what they see as unfair barriers being raised against their biofuels. A draft letter seen by Reuters called on the EU to refrain from agreeing legislation that would instruct developing nations on which parts of their territory they could use for biofuels.

Bill Clinton: "We Blew It" On Global Food
November 3, 2008 10:45 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Today's global food crisis shows "we all blew it, including me when I was president," by treating food crops as commodities instead of as a vital right of the world's poor, Bill Clinton told a U.N. gathering on Thursday.

EU agency says French GMO maize ban unjustified
October 31, 2008 10:42 AM - Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - Europe's top food safety agency said on Friday that France's ban on a genetically modified maize developed by U.S. biotech giant Monsanto was unjustified. Monsanto's MON 810 is the only GM crop grown in the European Union, unlike in the United States and Latin America, where they are more common. Many European countries doubt the safety of using the genetic technology in agriculture.

Less grass means less gas, cattle researcher says
October 30, 2008 10:06 AM - http://www.canada.com

A University of Manitoba scientist says he's figured out how to cut the amount of greenhouse gas belching from cows by as much as 200 litres a day - feed them grain instead of grass. For the past four years, Prof. Ermias Kebreab has been analyzing cow burps at the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment south of Winnipeg to measure the amount of methane dairy cows produce when they are fed different types of food.

Many pesticides in EU may damage human brain: study
October 24, 2008 09:28 AM - Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

Many pesticides used in the European Union may damage brain growth in fetuses and young children, according to a study published on Friday. The study urged the European Union to tighten restrictions.

Audits could curb illegal logging
October 17, 2008 08:06 AM - http://www.thejakartapost.com

The Indonesian Forestry Ministry's bold move to require forestry companies to have their wood stocks audited throughout the supply chain to ensure the wood is derived from sustainably managed forests could go a long way in reducing illegal logging in the country. Hadi Pasaribu, the Forestry Ministry's director general for the management of forestry production, who revealed the new policy recently, did not elaborate as to when the audit -- internationally known as forest certification scheme -- would be mandatory for wood-based companies.

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