'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.
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.