Agriculture

Bt corn more susceptible to aphids
September 21, 2007 01:38 PM -

Research into the environmental impact of genetically modified crops appears to be accelerating. Among several recent investigations, a Swiss study published in the journal PloS ONE has documented greater susceptibility to aphids among GM maize lines than among their conventional counterparts.

Amid Big Promises, Plans Proceed For First GMO Foodcrop Release In India
September 21, 2007 12:58 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

India - India is about to serve as host to a newly developed GMO eggplant, the first ever GMO foodcrop for India. The plant has been genetically modified to contain a pesticide that promoters hope will make it resistant to the fruit and shoot borer. Researchers admit, many questions about the new GMO food remain unanswered. No human trials have been conducted in the US or India. 

 

Australia To Give Farmers More Drought Help
September 21, 2007 07:41 AM - Reuters

CANBERRA  - The Australian government will provide more drought aid for farmers, Prime Minister John Howard said on Friday, after a report showed dwindling water inflows in the nation's food bowl around the Murray-Darling rivers.  Farmers had hoped early winter rains from April to June would mark the end of six years of drought, but low rainfall and high temperatures in August have led to below average flows into the river system, where water storage remains near record lows

New guidelines set to improve standard of cows' milk allergy care
September 21, 2007 07:39 AM - Cohn & Wolfe, London

New guidelines on the diagnosis and management of cows’ milk allergy (CMA), published today in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, are set to improve the standard of care of infants with CMA, the most common food allergy in children

Court Halts Introduction Of GMO Rice In The Philippines
September 20, 2007 05:12 PM - Imelda Abano, SciDevNet

PHILIPPINES - A Philippine court has temporarily halted an application to bring genetically modified (GM) rice to the country, pending a study of possible health and environmental effects.

A temporary restraining order was issued yesterday (18 September) after Greenpeace, together with other nongovernmental organisations, challenged the Philippine government's right to approve Bayer Crop Science's LL62, a herbicide-tolerant type of hybrid rice.

 

'Forest Stewardship Council' Certification Under Fire
September 20, 2007 02:12 PM -

The wood-pulp producing company Veracel has applied for FSC certification of its tree plantations in the Brazilian state of Bahia and the evaluation process is being carried out by the international certification firm SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance). Veracel, a joint venture between Swedish-Finnish Stora Enso and Norwegian-Brazilian Aracruz Cellulose exports almost all the pulp produced in Brazil to overseas markets, where it is converted into paper.


China’s Policy of Returning Farmland to Forests Must Be Upheld
September 20, 2007 07:40 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

China is witnessing a dangerous trend. The country’s policy of returning farmland to forests is faltering, and many areas are opting out of this activity in a push to protect local farmers. They are recklessly expanding farmlands that should have been replaced with forests under the policy, or they have simply allowed farmers to continue cultivating steep hillsides.

Arctic vault takes shape for world food crops
September 20, 2007 07:31 AM - John Acher -Reuters

In a cavern under a remote Arctic mountain, Norway will soon begin squirreling away the world's crop seeds in case of disaster.

Dynamited out of a mountainside on Spitsbergen island around 1,000 km (600 miles) from the North Pole, the store has been called a doomsday vault or a Noah's Ark of the plant kingdom.

Agrofuels Favor Business over Farmers
September 19, 2007 08:16 AM - Laura Carlsen, Global Policy Innovations Program

Agrofuel development has arrived on the global stage. Just this year, the number of declarations, dollars, and development plans devoted to agrofuels is unparalleled. An idea that languished for decades has become the darling of politicians, business, financiers, and the media. Agrofuels, also known as biofuels, have been touted as the solution to the most pressing problems facing U.S. society and the planet. Promoters claim they reduce greenhouse gas emissions, stave off the end of industrial growth based on fossil fuels, are sustainable and renewable, increase energy security, and help farmers.

Food Firms Want Binding Rules For Safe Imports
September 19, 2007 08:08 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON - Top U.S. food companies, worried recent import scares may turn away customers, launched a plan on Tuesday to add teeth to existing safety guidelines and increase funding for bare-bones federal regulators.  The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which includes leading companies like General Mills Inc., Cargill Inc., ConAgra Foods Inc. and Hershey Co., proposed the steps in a bid to ease fears stirred this year by reports of lead-laden toys and chemical-laced seafood and other goods imported into the United States, largely from China.

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