Drought Catastrophe Stalks Australia's Food Bowl
August 28, 2007 07:48 PM - Rob Taylor, Reuters

MOULAMEIN, Australia - A thin winter green carpets Australia's southeast hills and plains, camouflaging the onset of a drought catastrophe in the nation's food bowl. Sheep and cattle farmer Ian Shippen stands in a dying ankle-high oat crop under a mobile irrigation boom stretching nearly half-a-kilometer, but now useless without water. "I honestly think we're stuffed," he says grimly.

Brazil Trys To Calm Europe's Environmental Concerns
August 28, 2007 08:50 AM - Reuters

Delegates from Brazil's farm sector will visit Europe next month on a mission to convince customers that the expanding agricultural business is not harming the environment. They intend to show that many of the accusations made by green activists against Brazilian agriculture -- for example, that increased cane planting is destroying the Amazon rain forest -- do not reflect reality, Carlo Lovatelli, president of the Brazilian Agribusiness Association (Abag), said on Monday.

Afghan Opium Crop Soars To "Frightening Levels" Says U.N.
August 27, 2007 05:58 PM - Jon Hemming, Reuters

KABUL - Opium production has soared to "frightening record levels" in Afghanistan, which now has more land producing drugs than Colombia, Bolivia and Peru combined, the United Nations said on Monday. Afghanistan is locked in a vicious circle where drug money feeds both the Taliban insurgency and official corruption which in turn weaken the government's hold of large parts of the country and allows more opium to be produced. The area of Afghan land where opium poppies are grown rose by 17 percent to 193,000 hectares in 2007 from 165,000 last year and this year's harvest was 8,200 tonnes, up from 6,100 tonnes in 2006, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said.

Compounds That Color Fruits And Veggies May Protect Against Colon Cancer
August 27, 2007 03:59 PM - Ohio State University

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Understanding the molecular structures of compounds that give certain fruits and vegetables their rich colors may help researchers find even more powerful cancer fighters, a new study suggests.

UK Ministers Rush To Protect Priority Species And Habitats
August 27, 2007 02:58 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

UNITED KINGDOM - Britians Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is pushing to protect species and habitats. The British government intends to halt any further biodiversity loss by 2010. The environment ministers approved a priorities list that will guide future conservation action.

Icky Algae Alarms New England Fishermen
August 27, 2007 10:46 AM - Lisa Rathke, Associated Press

Already a scourge in New Zealand and parts of the American South and West, the aquatic algae called "rock snot" is creeping into New England, where it is turning up in pristine rivers and alarming fishermen and wildlife biologists.

New Crop of Farmers Takes to the Fields
August 27, 2007 08:41 AM - Joann Loviglio, Associated Press

Tom Murtha studied English at Penn. Tricia Borneman majored in journalism at Shippensburg University. Like most college graduates, they finished school with a good idea of where they wanted their career paths to lead. But unlike most, it was a dirt path. So on a recent summer day, instead of working in an air-conditioned office building 40 miles away in Philadelphia, the pair were tending to kale, collard greens and broccoli in Bucks County.

Study: Combating Child Obesity With Gardening
August 25, 2007 06:43 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

MANHATTAN, Kansas - Researcher Candice Shoemaker thinks she might have an answer to the nation's obesity epidemic in children: gardening. She hopes to show that gardening can promote a healthier lifestyle and combat childhood obesity in several ways. First, Shoemaker said, when children help to grow their own fruits and vegetables, they are more interested in eating them. Also, gardening not only gets children off of the couch and outdoors, but it also counts as physical activity.

New Book Details GMO Dangers, Failures
August 25, 2007 05:59 PM - Issue Talk Communications

LOS ANGELES, CA. - Author Jeffrey Smith says new science proves genetic engineering is unsafe. Smith, an internationally respected expert on GMO's, hopes to force food manufacturers to remove genetically engineered ingredients from products. Smith's new book, Genetic Roulette, targets consumers with the message: Healthy Eating Means No-GMOs.

New York Times Exposes USDA Sabotage of Organics
August 24, 2007 04:21 PM - Organic Consumers Association

On August 19, the New York Times exposed the USDA for shortchanging organic programs. Journalist Andrew Martin pointed out that the National Organic Program, which regulates the entire organic industry, has just nine staff members and a puny annual budget of $1.5 million.

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