Agriculture

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.

Pesticides Pose Risk in Rural and Urban Communities Alike
September 19, 2007 08:01 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute

n a recent study of 60 children of Latino farmworkers in the U.S. state of North Carolina, nearly 90 percent of those tested were found to have pesticide metabolites in their urine, according to a report in Environmental Health Perspectives. On average, the children had four different pesticides present in their urine, posing a potential long-term health risk. “Because children are so much smaller than adults and because they are developing rapidly, the effects of pesticides on their neurological systems can be devastating,” says Danielle Nierenberg, a food and agriculture researcher at the Worldwatch Institute in Washington, D.C.

GM Crops Only Way For India To Feed Itself, Says Government
September 18, 2007 07:50 AM - Chris, Environmental Graffiti

Their are potentially numerous negative effects of using genetically modified crops to individulas, society and economies, however, it seems that a large scale cultivation of transgenic crops may be the only solution to India’s fast growing food and land issues according to Mangala Rai, secretary of the Department of Agriculture Research and Education.

Let There Be... Organic Food
September 18, 2007 07:39 AM - Reuters, Ed Stoddard and Jessica Rinaldi

COMMERCE, Texas - The Hale family has embraced organic farming because it is healthy, good for the environment and less cruel to animals. But do not mistake them for nature-worshiping New Agers or back-to-basics hippies.They are part of a small movement of conservative Christians who believe the Bible demands an organic or natural approach to agriculture.

More Christians Embrace Organic Farming
September 17, 2007 07:59 AM - Ed Stoddard and Jessica Rinaldi, Reuters

COMMERCE, Texas (Reuters) - The Hale family has embraced organic farming because it is healthy, good for the environment and less cruel to animals. But do not mistake them for nature-worshiping New Agers or back-to-basics hippies.

They are part of a small movement of conservative Christians who believe the Bible demands an organic or natural approach to agriculture.

Floods in Africa kill dozens and wipe out crops
September 15, 2007 08:49 AM - Jeremy Clarke -Reuters

Floods from torrential rains have caused the deaths of at least 80 more people, displaced thousands, and devastated crops and livestock across sub-Saharan Africa, officials said on Friday.

Watchdog Group Files New Complaints Against Aurora Organic Dairy And Certifier QAI
September 14, 2007 04:43 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Cornucopia, WI - A Wisconsin watchdog group has filed new legal complaints with the USDA, and threatening civil lawsuits against an organic dairy and its certifiers.The complaints, filed by the Cornucopia Institute criticized the USDA for not penalizing the industry's largest organic milk producer after their government regulators found that the dairy may have perpetrated consumer fraud by violating the federal organic labeling law.

Greenpeace blockades wood pulp shipment
September 14, 2007 10:53 AM - Reuters

Quebec - Greenpeace's 50-metre ship Arctic Sunrise blocked the Jaeger Arrow from leaving the port of St-Fulgence on the Saguenay River near Chicoutimi, Quebec, about 460 kilometers (288 miles) northeast of Montreal, said Richard Brooks, forest campaign coordinator for Greenpeace Canada. The Jaeger Arrow was carrying about 6,500 tones of pulp from the Saint-Felicien, Quebec, mill of SFK Pulp Fund destined for forest-products company Stora Enso's Kabel facility in Germany, Greenpeace said.

FACTBOX - Foot and mouth disease
September 13, 2007 08:32 AM - Reuters

Following are facts about foot and mouth disease after an outbreak was confirmed in southern England on Wednesday, around 30 miles (50 km) from the scene of the last confirmed outbreak in August. Britain suffered a major outbreak of the disease in 2001 which cost the economy an estimated 8.5 billion pounds with more than six million animals culled.

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