Benin finds two bird flu outbreaks, suspects H5N1
December 7, 2007 07:08 AM - By Samuel Elijah, Reuters
COTONOU (Reuters) - Benin has discovered two outbreaks of bird flu among poultry which it believes to be the deadly H5N1 strain, the first such cases in the West African country, a senior health official said on Friday.
Kenya issues alert over desert locust invasion
December 7, 2007 03:28 AM - Reuters
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Desert locusts have invaded Kenya's arid northeastern region, threatening maize and wheat crops, but the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday it was well prepared to fight the pests.
The desert locust's destructive power stems from its gregarious nature that allows it to move in swarms, eating whatever vegetation it finds in its path.
A ministry statement published in local newspapers said the locusts were not aggressively feeding yet, but were in their last stage of development and laying eggs in the moist sandy soil of the hot region.
France suspends commercial GMO seed use, studies safety
December 6, 2007 01:34 PM - Reuters
PARIS (Reuters) - France formally suspended on Thursday the commercial use of genetically modified (GMO) seeds in the country until early February and ordered a biotech safety study.
Germany ends ban on Monsanto GMO maize type
December 6, 2007 12:07 PM - Reuters
Germany had in May this year imposed a temporary ban on commercial sales of MON810 citing concerns about safety of the maize (corn), which is resistant to several types of butterflies which are pests to the grain in Europe.
A Fishy Definition of Organic
December 6, 2007 10:03 AM - Barton Seaver and Rick Moonen - Sacramento Bee
As one of the busiest of all times for food professionals, the holiday season will make us work hard to put our best spatula forward.
And to keep our competitive edge, we depend on the freshest and healthiest ingredients available to keep our guests coming back for seconds.
Polluting Pulp Mill Draws Protest and Spurs World Court Case
December 6, 2007 09:17 AM - , Worldwatch Institute
Environmentalists from Argentina are continuing their more than two-year protest of an Uruguayan pulp mill along a river that separates the two countries. Protesters say the cellulose processing plant, which went into operation on November 9, will release pollutants into the Uruguay River and threaten local ecosystems and human health. Argentine authorities claim that the mill violates a bilateral treaty and have taken the issue to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands.
Broccoli compound may ameliorate skin disease
December 5, 2007 12:22 PM - By Megan Rauscher, Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The natural compound sulforaphane, which is abundant in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, may have a role in the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa simplex, according to research presented during the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in Washington, DC.
Epidermolysis bullosa simplex is a genetic condition that causes the skin to become fragile and blister easily from minor injuries or friction, such as rubbing or scratching. The signs and symptoms of the condition vary widely -- blistering may primarily affect the hands and feet and heals, while severe cases involve widespread blistering that can lead to infection, dehydration and may be life-threatening in infants.
Study: Price of lower-calorie foods rising drastically
December 4, 2007 02:52 PM - University of Washington Newswire
Seattle - As food prices rise, the costs of lower-calorie foods are rising the fastest, according to a University of Washington study appearing in the December issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. As the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables and other low-calorie foods have jumped nearly 20 percent in the past two years, the UW researchers say, a nutritious diet may be moving out of the reach of some American consumers.
Rising food prices threaten world's poor people
December 4, 2007 08:11 AM - CGIAR
Beijing—Income growth, climate change, high energy prices, globalization, and urbanization are all converging to transform food production, markets, and consumption, according to a new report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). As a result, global food demand and prices are likely to rise, threatening the livelihoods and nutrition of poor people in developing countries. The report, “The World Food Situation: New Driving Forces and Required Actions,” was released today at the annual general meeting of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
China fires up biomass plants
December 4, 2007 07:20 AM - Reuters
BEIJING (Reuters) - China has fired up eight biomass plants in leading grain-producing provinces in hopes of cutting carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation, state media reported on Tuesday.
The plants have a total installed capacity of 200 megawatts and are expected to burn 1.6 million tons of stalks a year.