International Commission Calls for ”˜Paradigm Shift’ in Agriculture
April 21, 2008 07:44 AM - , Worldwatch Institute
A commission of international agriculture experts unveiled a series of reports on Wednesday calling for an end to "business-as-usual" farming practices to avoid widespread environmental degradation and increasing food scarcity. The group of more than 400 experts, known as the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), concluded through its global and regional studies that governments and industries need to discontinue environmentally damaging farming methods. Farmers should have greater access to agricultural technology and science, especially in the developing world, to ensure productivity increases without further environmental degradation, the reports say.
World Facing Huge New Challenge on Food Front: Business as Usual Not a Vialble Option
April 18, 2008 09:13 AM - Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute
A fast-unfolding food shortage is engulfing the entire world, driving food prices to record highs. Over the past half-century grain prices have spiked from time to time because of weather-related events, such as the 1972 Soviet crop failure that led to a doubling of world wheat, rice, and corn prices. The situation today is entirely different, however. The current doubling of grain prices is trend-driven, the cumulative effect of some trends that are accelerating growth in demand and other trends that are slowing the growth in supply.
Change in Farming Can Feed World - Report
April 18, 2008 08:38 AM - John Vidal , Organic Consumers Association
Sixty countries backed by the World Bank and most UN bodies yesterday called for radical changes in world farming to avert increasing regional food shortages, escalating prices and growing environmental problems. But in a move that has led to the US, UK, Australia and Canada not yet endorsing the report, the authors said GM technology was not a quick fix to feed the world's poor and argued that growing biofuel crops for automobiles threatened to increase worldwide malnutrition.
GOING, GOING, GONE? New Satellite Images Reveal a Shrinking Amazon Rainforest
April 17, 2008 08:32 AM - , Worldwatch Institute
Washington, D.C.- Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon may be on the rise, according to high-resolution images released by an agency of the Brazilian government. The images suggest an end to a widely hailed three-year decline in the rate of deforestation and have spurred a public controversy among high-level Brazilian officials, writes Tim Hirsch, author of "The Incredible Shrinking Amazon Rainforest" in the May/June 2008 issue of World Watch magazine.
Agriculture - The Need for Change
April 16, 2008 09:02 AM - United Nations Environment Programme
Washington/London/Nairobi/Delhi, 15 April 2008 - The way the world grows its food will have to change radically to better serve the poor and hungry if the world is to cope with a growing population and climate change while avoiding social breakdown and environmental collapse. That is the message from the report of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development, a major new report by over 400 scientists which is launched today. The assessment was considered by 64 governments at an intergovernmental plenary in Johannesburg last week.
World must reform agriculture now or face dire crisis: report
April 16, 2008 08:23 AM - , The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
The world will face social upheaval and environmental disasters if agriculture is not radically reformed to better serve the poor and hungry, a landmark UN-sponsored report said Tuesday. The warning in the report by the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) comes amid growing discontent among the world's poorest over rising food prices.
"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.