Agriculture

In "eat local" movement, Cuba is years ahead
December 16, 2008 09:17 AM - Reuters

HAVANA (Reuters) - After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba planted thousands of urban cooperative gardens to offset reduced rations of imported food. Now, in the wake of three hurricanes that wiped out 30 percent of Cuba's farm crops, the communist country is again turning to its urban gardens to keep its people properly fed.

Bush's Environmental Legacy on GMOs
December 8, 2008 10:25 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

In a few hundred thousand years, after all weather effects of 21st century climate change have disappeared from the earth's surface, after our quietly smoldering nuclear waste has been extinguished, two destructive impacts traceable to George Bush's policies will yet remain. The first is extinctions. Species that have died out, including the subset resulting from Bush's environmental policies, will forever deprive our evolving biosphere of their contribution.

Genetically Modified Crops Reach 9 Percent of Global Primary Crop Production
December 5, 2008 12:04 PM - , Worldwatch Institute

Washington, D.C. - Genetically modified crops reached 9 percent of global primary crop production in 2007, bringing the total GM land area up to 114.3 million hectares, according to Worldwatch Institute estimates published in the latestVital Signs Update. The United States continues to be the global leader in production, accounting for half of all GM crop area.

EU approves genetically modified soybean for import
December 4, 2008 09:24 AM - Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union has authorized imports of a genetically modified (GM) soybean type for sale across its 27 national markets for the next 10 years, the European Commission said on Thursday. Developed and marketed by Monsanto, the soybean is destined for use in food and animal feed, not for growing. It is a second-generation GM product known by its code number MON 89788 and commercially as Roundup RReady2Yield.

Lula's Green Light for Monsanto Has Flooded Brazil with GMO Soya & Increased Amazon Deforestation
December 1, 2008 09:53 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

*Lula's government promotes genetically-modified organisms despite social opposition. Brazil is home to one of the world's largest areas of genetically-modified seed cultivations with 15 million hectares in 2007. The greatest increase of these crops occurred under the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, despite growing opposition from Brazilian farmers and environmentalists.

US Beef Back on Shelves of South Korean Supermarkets
December 1, 2008 09:32 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea's supermarket chains resumed selling U.S. beef Thursday, nearly five months after the government lifted an import ban imposed over fears of mad cow disease. South Korea banned American beef in 2003 after a case of mad cow disease was discovered in the U.S. The government lifted that ban in June - a move that sparked weeks of violent protests by South Koreans concerned about the health risks of eating U.S. meat.

“Efficient” Irrigation Tool May Deplete More Water
November 26, 2008 10:02 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

An Israeli water engineer was sitting under a tree one day when he noticed a leaking faucet slowly drip water to the tree's roots, a nearly 50-year-old irrigation tale says. The idea inspired the invention of modern drip irrigation, also known as micro-irrigation. The method runs water through plastic tubes that release the flow through small holes directly to crop roots or stems.

Warm winter 'major threat' to crops
November 26, 2008 09:52 AM - China Daily

Prolonged periods of drought resulting from China's 23rd consecutive "warm winter" will pose a serious threat to the country's crop yields, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) said in a report published Tuesday. Some regions could experience droughts until the spring, the report said, adding that the warm weather might even continue until summer.

As ethanol shipments grow, safety remains a concern
November 18, 2008 08:14 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Surging U.S. ethanol production may force the industry to step up transport safety measures in the face of growing concern that communities are ill-prepared to deal with the volatile, flammable liquid.

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.

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