Thu, Feb

  • Experts Urge Gene Bank of Rare Livestock Breeds to Ensure Healthy Diversity

    Precious genetic material that could protect farm animals from future threats posed by disease and climate change might be lost unless action is taken to protect rare breeds from extinction, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said Monday. >> Read the Full Article
  • Climate change and N. America farms to be studied

    Iowa State University researchers will join a study of climate change to produce mid-century projections by late next year of the likely regional effects on North American farms from global warming. "There is no question now that the climate is changing on a global scale," said Gene Takle, an Iowa State University professor of geological and atmospheric sciences who will lead a study to project North American climate from 2040 to 2070. Iowa and Illinois are the epicenter of the U.S. Midwest farm belt, which produces the world's largest exportable surpluses of corn, soybeans and wheat and vast amounts of meat, dairy products, poultry and vegetables. >> Read the Full Article
  • Update on the Global Fight Against Genetically Engineered Foods & Crops

    LONDON - This compilation of stories, provided by the British organization called GM Freeze, providing stories about people successfully holding back the GM tide around the world. From Cyprus to South Korea, Venezuela to Zambia, GM food and crops are finding it increasingly difficult to gain headway unchallenged. Adding these advances to our momentum starts with sharing the stories. We hope you find them inspiring. As always, if you'd like more information or references for any of the items, please get in touch. >> Read the Full Article
  • USDA Orders Changes and Threatens to Revoke Organic Certification For Largest US Dairy

    WASHINGTON - The USDA has ordered the nation's largest certified organic dairy to make substantial, wide-ranging changes to the livestock management practices at their operations in Texas and Colorado after violations of organic standards were uncovered in their feed lots. The USDA reached a compromise with the company, Aurora Organic Dairy, after threatening to revoke organic certification for the dairy, which supplies Wal-Mart and other major chains with "certified organic" dairy products. >> Read the Full Article
  • Experimental anti-cancer drug made from corn lillies kills brain tumor stem cells

    A drug that shuts down a critical cell-signaling pathway in the most common and aggressive type of adult brain cancer successfully kills cancer stem cells thought to fuel tumor growth and help cancers evade drug and radiation therapy, a Johns Hopkins study shows. In a series of laboratory and animal experiments, Johns Hopkins scientists blocked the signaling system, known as Hedgehog, with an experimental compound called cyclopamine to explore the blockade’s effect on cancer stem cells that populate glioblastoma multiforme. Cyclopamine has long been known to inhibit Hedgehog signaling. >> Read the Full Article
  • Is A Bioeconomy fueled by Biorenewables, Sustainable?

    This spring farmers responded to the ethanol industry's demand for grain by increasing their corn acreage by 19 percent over last year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. What if that happens again next year? What if farmers decide against crop rotations and plant corn on the same fields, year after year? Or, what if farmers begin growing biomass crops such as switchgrass for the production of ethanol from plant fiber? >> Read the Full Article
  • Dole Food Takes New Steps to Head Off More E.coli

    Dole Food Company, a top U.S. food and fruit producer, has stepped up testing and tracking of produce to prevent outbreaks of E.coli like the one that sickened hundreds last fall, the firm said on Thursday. Eric Schwartz, Dole's president for worldwide vegetables, told Reuters in an interview the company is testing samples from every acre of spinach and other vegetables that will be marketed under the Dole label. >> Read the Full Article
  • Green Africa Conference Seeks to Help Continent Feed Itself

    Africa's drive to feed itself by boosting agricultural production through funding, market access and improved technology must be balanced against the risk of environmental damage and market collapse, delegates at an Oslo conference said Thursday. >> Read the Full Article
  • Food Demand and Climate Straining Soils

    World food demand will surge this century with a leap in population, highlighting a need to protect soils under strain from climate change, experts said on Thursday. About 150 scientists and government experts will meet in Iceland from August 31-September 4 to try to work out how to safeguard soils from over-use and desertification when more food is needed and some farmers are shifting land to biofuels. >> Read the Full Article
  • New U.S. Test: CO2 Could Make Grasslands 'Unusable'

    Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels could change the nature of grasslands and decrease their usefulness as grazing pastures, say researchers. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week (27 August). If carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to rise, important grazing areas in parts of Africa, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Mongolia, and southern and South East Asia could be under threat, according to lead author Jack Morgan, a plant physiologist from the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. >> Read the Full Article