• Protecting Organic From GMO's - New Standards Proposed

    Baltimore, MD - A draft standard for verifying the non-GMO status of natural and organic foods was introduced at a meeting held at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore in September. The Board members of the Non-GMO Project, an industry initiative to verify the non-GMO status of natural and organic foods, discussed the draft non-GMO standard. >> Read the Full Article
  • Is Organic the Answer for Seafood?

    This commentary was authored by Rachel Hopkins, Communications Consultant, Pure Salmon Campaign and Urvashi Rangan, PhD, Senior Scientist and Policy Analyst, Consumers Union.

    Close to 20 years ago, the U.S. defined what organic means in the U.S. Organic Food Production Act of 1990, expressly written for food grown in the ground and animals raised on land.

    But as the organic movement has evolved into the organic industry, other products have started to carry erroneous “organic” claims. Enter the current debate raging in the U.S. regarding the development of “organic” standards for fish. The U.S. Department of Agriculture decided a couple years ago that wild fish are not eligible for the organic label because their living conditions are impossible to monitor and control.

     

     

     

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Tens of thousands trapped in Mexico floods

    VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Mexicans were trapped on rooftops and others clung to lampposts on Thursday after heavy rains flooded nearly the entire southern state of Tabasco.

    At least 500,000 people were made homeless and one person was killed in the worst flooding the swampy state has seen in more than 50 years.

    President Felipe Calderon said it was one of the worst natural disasters in Mexico's history.

    Television images showed rescue workers hauling people out turbulent, brown waters that rose as high as the roofs of houses. Children floated down a street in a plastic tub.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Ol' McDonald had a Farm (Bill)

    For most of this year, Congress has been debating what to include in the 2007 Farm Bill, but there is still time for you to contact your legislators and have an influence. This opportunity to shape what food is grown, how it is grown, who grows it, and who can afford to eat it only comes around once every 5 years! Farm Bill policy is controversial and it helps to understand why. Food & Water Watch’s Farm Bill 101 provides an easy-to-read 1-page history of the development of farm bill policy. >> Read the Full Article
  • Organic gardens take root in Canada

    TORONTO (Reuters) - As climate change makes longer, drier summers a reality in many parts of the world, a new trend in landscaping is taking root in Canada.

    In Toronto, where precipitation levels were 52 percent below the seasonal average over the past six months, according to government data, residents are trading in their manicured lawns for environmentally friendly organic landscapes.

    "Irrigation is a huge issue as water is such a valuable resource," said Claire Suo-Cockerton of landscaping company Aesthetic Earthworks. "We are trying to plant material that is more appropriate today in our climate."

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Organic GardensTake Root in Canada

    TORONTO - As climate change makes longer, drier summers a reality in many parts of the world, a new trend in landscaping is taking root in Canada. In Toronto, where precipitation levels were 52 percent below the seasonal average over the past six months, according to government data, residents are trading in their manicured lawns for environmentally friendly organic landscapes. >> Read the Full Article
  • Cemeteries not just for the dead, say architects

    LONDON (Reuters) - Cemeteries should not just be for the dead but could become places of relaxation and exploration, a British architects' lobby group said on Wednesday. CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, said cemeteries were originally intended as public open spaces and, in some towns and cities, cemeteries account for up to half of the green open spaces. "Cemeteries should not be considered solely as resting places for the dead, they should be designed with the living in mind too," said CABE director Sarah Gaventa. >> Read the Full Article
  • Southeast drought leads to spat over lake

    LAKE LANIER, Georgia (Reuters) - A large, man-made lake in north Georgia is at the center of a political storm over how to distribute water resources between three states in the face of the region's worst drought in decades. Lake Lanier stands near the head of a watershed that feeds the booming city of Atlanta about 45 miles to the south, leading to accusations that the city is consuming more than its fair share of water. >> Read the Full Article
  • African Expert: Wary Farmers, Not climate Change Is Problem

    Low crop yields in Africa is not due to climate change but rather farmers failing to exploit opportunities in wetter years, says a Kenya-based scientist. Peter Cooper, principal scientist for Eastern and Southern Africa at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Nairobi, argues that much of African society, particularly politicians and policy-makers, wrongly blames climate change for harvest irregularities. >> Read the Full Article
  • U.N. Food Expert Seeks Moratorium on Biofuels

    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food called on Friday for a five-year moratorium on biofuels, saying it was a "crime against humanity" to convert food crops to fuel.

    Biofuels are driving up food prices at a time when there are 854 million hungry people in the world and every five seconds a child under 10 dies from hunger or disease related to malnutrition, Jean Ziegler said.

    Fears over climate change have boosted the demand for alternative fuels, but the rise of biofuel has been criticized by some who say it squeezes land needed for food.

    >> Read the Full Article