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FOOD UNDERNEWS

World Trade Organization rules against source of meat labelling requirements

Nation of Change - The World Trade Organization finally issued a decision in the challenge made by Mexico and Canada to the U.S.’s country-of-origin labeling rules (COOL) for meat. And environmental and food safety groups are hopping mad, as WTO upheld the contention made by those countries, supported by multi-national meat packers, that the rules unfairly impede global trade.

The current U.S. rules, which went into effect in 2013, require that meat sold in groceries be labeled to show separately where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered. The WTO’s ruling agrees that those regulations unfairly discriminate against imported meat to give an unfair edge to domestic products. In the ongoing dispute, then-Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack suggested last November that WTO should resolve the dispute and that the U.S. would abide by what the WTO decided.

Mexican judge cancels Monsanto planting permit

Nation of Change - Honoring the complaints of a small group of beekeepers in the state of Yucatán, who complained that Monsanto’s planned planting of thousands of hectares of GM soybeans made to withstand Round Up would demolish their honey industry by decimating bees – a judge in Mexico has removed Monsanto’s planting permit.

Though Monsanto will surely appeal the ruling, it will at least stall the growing season and give the bee-keepers time to gather additional support for their cause.

If the permit had been honored, Monsanto would have been able to plant seeds in seven states, covering more than 253,000 hectares of land. (This amounts to almost a million acres.) Mayan farmers, beekeepers, and activist groups like Greenpeace, the Mexican National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas, and the National Institute of Ecology have been vocally protesting this action.

The judge was apparently convinced that the scientific data showing a link between Round Up, GMOs, and lowered honey production is very real. The Yucatán peninsula grows vasts amounts of honey, and in fact is the third largest exporter of honey to the world. The area includes Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán states. More than 25,000 families build their livelihoods on honey production. Almost all of the honey grown there is exported to the EU and amounts to over $54 million in Mexican money annually.

The judge ruled that honey production and GM soybeans could not co-exist.

The ghosts in the GMO machine

Cascadia Times - While independent research shows that chlorpyrifos, a Dow Chemical insecticide used in Kauai's GMO fields [in Hawaii], can cause significant harm to children nearby, Dow is intent on convincing the EPA otherwise.

The bodies and minds of children living on the Hawaiian island of Kaua‘i are being threatened by exposure to chlorpyrifos, a synthetic insecticide that is heavily sprayed on fields located near their homes and schools.

For decades, researchers have been publishing reports about children who died or were maimed after exposure to chlorpyrifos, either in the womb or after birth. While chlorpyrifos can no longer legally be used around the house or in the garden, it is still legal to use on the farm. But researchers are finding that children aren't safe when the insecticide is applied to nearby fields.

Like a ghost drifting through a child's bedroom window, the airborne insecticide can settle on children’s skin, clothes, toys, rugs, and furnishings.

In fact, it's likely that the only people who needn't worry about exposure to chlorpyrifos are adults living far from the fields in which it is sprayed. That includes civil servants who work for the Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates the stuff, and executives with Dow Chemical, the company that manufactures it.

In a regulatory process known as re-registration, the EPA will decide in 2015 whether it still agrees that chlorpyrifos is safe for farming, or whether it will order a complete ban, as Earthjustice, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Pesticide Action Network have demanded in lawsuits filed in 2007 and in 2014.

Dow has long insisted that its chlorpyrifos products are safe, despite tens of thousands of reports of acute poisoning and multiple studies linking low-level exposures to children with lower IQ. The company also has a long history—going back decades—of concealing from the public the many health problems it knew were linked to chlorpyrifos.

In 1995, the EPA found that Dow had violated federal law by covering up its knowledge of these health problems for years (p. 3-2). In 2004, then-New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer found that Dow had been lying about the known dangers of the pesticide in its advertising for nearly as long. Together, the EPA and the State of New York have levied fines against the company approaching $3 million.

Why natural foods may not be natural

Environmental News Network - A wide variety of packaged food that carry the label "natural" on US supermarket shelves were found to contain substantial amounts of genetically modified organisms, according to Consumer Reports.

Tests on dozens of common food products including breakfast cereals, crisps and infant formula found almost all of them contained recognizable levels of GMOs.

The research results has led to Consumer Reports to now call for the mandatory labeling of GMOs in food and a ban on the "natural" label, which suggest products don't contain the controversial ingredients.

A recent survey of 1,000 American adults conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center showed that a majority of people — 64 percent — mistakenly equate "natural" with no GMOs. The same survey also showed that nearly three-quarters of all Americans are seeking foods produced without genetically modified organisms.

Study find cancer jump near fields of GM crops

Truth Out - Roundup is now heavily sprayed in what is known as the "Soy Republic," an area of Latin America larger than the state of California. This region has undergone a profound transformation since genetically modified crops were first introduced in 1996. Some 125 million acres in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay are now devoted to GM soy production.

Doctors serving these areas have documented an alarming increase in cancers. A group of dedicated physicians formed an organization, Doctors of Fumigated Towns. They held a national conference in August of 2010 in Córdoba, the center of Argentina's soy region. The Department of Medical Sciences of the National University at Córdoba sponsored the conference. An estimated 160 doctors from throughout the country attended.

Dr. Medardo Avila Vazquez, a pediatrician specializing in environmental health, explained his concerns:

"The change in how agriculture is produced has brought, frankly, a change in the profile of diseases. We've gone from a pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth defects and illnesses seldom seen before. What we have complained about for years was confirmed and especially what doctors say about the sprayed towns and areas affected by industrial agriculture. Cancer cases are multiplying as never before in areas with massive use of pesticides."

Dr. Avila Vazquez blamed the biotech agricultural corporations for placing their profits over the public's health:

"The tobacco companies denied the link between smoking and cancer, and took decades to recognize the truth. The biotech and agrochemical corporations are the same as the tobacco industry; they lie and favor business over the health of the population."

It was the health of the population that concerned Dr. Damian Verzeñassi, professor of social and environmental health from the National University at Rosario. In 2010, he began a house-to-house epidemiological study of 65,000 people in Santa Fe, also in Argentina's soy region. He found cancer rates two to four times higher than the national average, with increases in breast, prostate and lung cancers.

Beef production far more damaging to environment than other livestock

Indoor farms can work

Finding the right diet


VIA DAN HOLLINGSWORTH

Climate putting corn in trouble

Good news on the cheese front

Obama's war on cheese

Farm to prison table

Food prices driving global unrest

Appeals court okays labelling meat by country of origin

The rise of food gentrification

Study: Pesticides hurting French sperm

How dirt can be healthy

2013

Consumer Reports finds 97% of chicken breasts contaminated

Connecticut becomes first state to require lableling of GMO food

A bag to cook in

Interest growing in micro gardening

Foods sold in America that are banned in other countries

Oregon banning some pesticides

America's war on aspargus farmers

Food practices banned in Europe but just fine here

Aging farmers dramatically changing the ecoomics of farmland

FDA war on manure threatens America's small farms

America's war on aspargus farmers

Farmers want government to suspend ethanol gas requirement

State by state review of war on factory farming whistleblowers
 
Eden Foods: Organic food, anti-women politics

Unsustainable agruculture growth biggest threat to biodiversity

Why is lettuce so complicated?

Rampant seafood fraud found

Chain Restaurants Boost Sales With Lower-Calorie Foods

Pressure to end corn ethanol mandate

Corporate takover of urban farming?

Burger King in UK admits using horse meat

Whole Foods faces backlash over CEO's attack on Obamacare

Local food
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States that best support local food

Food stats
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VOX

American farmland decreasing at rapid rate

Sales of organically farmed food jumped nearly 84% in 2012 from 2007

In 2012, the average age of principal farm operators was 58.3, up 1.2 years since 2007, with 257,697 farmers 75 or older in 2012, compared to 243,472 in 2007, according to a preliminary report from the Department of Agriculture's Census of Agriculture, taken every five years. The number of principal farm operators 65 to 74 rose from 412,182 to 443,558, and from 55 to 64 from 596,306 to 608,060, while numbers of those 45-54 dropped by nearly 100,000, and those 35-44 by more than 50,000, continuing a 30-year trend of aging farmers.

2013

Harvard study says 25,000 Americans may die because of sodas and sugary drinks

Study Finds 80% of All Antibiotics in US Used for Big-Ag

2012

Number of farmers' markets more than quadruple since 1994

Corn prices at record high

Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that meat eating across the country fell from the 2004 high point of 184 pounds per person to 171 pounds in 2011. Early estimates for 2012 project a further reduction in American meat eating to 166 pounds, making for a 10 percent drop over the eight-year period.- Earth Policy Institute

2011

A Vanity Fair poll finds that 73% of conservatives and 75% of liberals either make buying local food a priority or do it when it is convenient. Another issue that the media ignores, but people find important. We suspect the results would be even better if local food was idenitified better.

Genetically modified crops
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A history of Monsanto

2014

HRC backs GMO

Fish & Wildlife Service to phase out use of genetically modified crops

Brazil farmers say GMO crops no longer resistant to disease

China cracks down on GMO crops

If GMO products are so safe and good, why are four organizations suing Vermont to prevent labelling food as having GMO ingredients?

Oregon moving to map GMO cropland

Chances are your vegatable oil is genetically modified

Two largest grocery chains won't sell GMO salmon

French government bans GMO corn

Worms now eat corn genetically modified to poison them

Study: the prevalence of Roundup herbicide

Chinese don't like Monsanto

Some farmers turning away from GMO crops

2013

The Supreme Court's Monsanto ruling

Girl Scouts take on GMO cookies

Major food producers pulling out of GMOs - but only in Europe

Europe wins against Monsanto

Monsanto's ties to Blackwater

Monsanto sprays own workers

Pigs eating only GM grain have higher stomach inflammation

Monsanto gives up on Europe

16 Of the 22 Monsanto lobbyists have held government jobs, including the current FDA chief of foods

The Monsanto "We increase food" myth

Things to do about Monsanto

Food brands using Monsanto seeds

Monsanto trying to stop states from requiring labelling

Obama signs Monsanto protection act

Study: Roundup linked to major health problems

Some grocery stores join fight against GM food

How Monsanto is ripping off farmers

2012

Poland Bans Genetically Modified Corn, Potatoes

Monsanto Gets Its Way in Ag Bill

DOJ Mysteriously Quits Monsanto Antitrust Investigation

Kenya bans Imports of GM Food

Peru bans GMO ingredients

30 states consider GMO labelling issue

Study: GMO crops increase pesticide use

California voters strongly support labelling GMO food

An analysis of the GMO/rat controversy

Some scientists question GMO rat study

New study zaps Monsanto GM corn

France to maintain ban on genetically modified crops

French court finds Monsanto guilty in chemical poisoning case

Wikileaks: US diplomats shilled for Monsanto & Dupont to push GM crops

INDIA DELAYS INTRODUCTION OF GM FOOD DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS

SAFETY OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS

GMO PRODUCERS PROHIBIT RESEARCH ON THEIR PLANTS

MONSANTO GOES AFTER FARMERS FOR ACTING LIKE FARMERS

Food stamps
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Obama sells out on food stamps

What food stamps have really done

Cutting food stamps is not only cruel, it will cost more money

Food stamps reduce extreme poverty

Urban farming
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2014

Urban farming grows in Latin America

How urban gardens can be better than many real fields

The rise of vertical farming

The world's largest roof top farm

All about vertical farming

2013

Urban farm ideas from NYC

Urban agriculture spreading

Urban agriculture in Los Angeles

Hidden benefits of community gardens

Problems with vertical farming

Three examples of urban agriculture

First vertical farm opens in Singapore

2012

URBAN FARMING GROWS INTO A BUSINESS

Organic food
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2014

Organic food status

Gallup: 45% seek organic foods

Sales of organically farmed food jumped nearly 84% in 2012 from 2007

Creative organic gardens around the world

Is the Agriculture Department this scared of organic farmers?

Organic farms growing fast

2013

Organic food shortage

Largest wholesale distributor of organic and natural food under invesigation for violation of labor laws

Organic farming growing worldwide

2012

The part of the organic food study that the media ignored

BRITISH STUDY OF ORGANIC FOOD COMES UNDER FIRE

BRITISH GOVERNMENT STUDY FINDS ORGANIC ITEMS NO BETTER THAN ORDINARY FOOD

ORGANIC FARMLAND UP 118% SINCE 2000

2012...

Global crop production stagnating in some areas

Study links pesticides used by sheep farmers to long-term brain damage

Idea Mill: Bread that can stay fresh for 60 days

Food Bank Stocks Dry Up in Wake of Great Drought

Orlando backs off of anti-front yard gardening rule

The economics of your Thanksgiving dinner

Global land seized could feed nearly a billion people

UN warns of major hunger crisis next year

Kids and food

Man wins $7 million in popcorn case

Alaskan King salmon are disappearing

Burger King to go cage free for pork and eggs

FDA rules "high fructose corn syrup" can't change its name to "corn sugar"

Super weeds threasten food production

Bill Gates knows as little about farming as he does about education

Iowa beats Canada in grain production, challenges China in soybeans

HOW COUNTRIES LOSE CONTROL OF THEIR FOOD

USDA Testing Finds 34 Unapproved Pesticides on Cilantro

One bad harvest away from chaos

RUSSIA BANS GRAIN EXPORTS

LEAD FOUND IN KIDS DRINKS AND SNACKS

CONSERVATION SAVING NORTH SEA COD

GRAIN FOR U.S. ETHANOL COULD FEED 300 MILLION FOR A YEAR

AMERICANS WASTE 40% OF THEIR FOOD

PLASTIC BECOMES FARM PROBLEM

PEAK FOOD FOLLOWS PEAK OIL

EVEN BEER THREATENED BY CLIMATE CHANGE

RICHER COUNTRIES RIPPING OFF POOR NATION'S FARMLAND

BILLION TO GO HUNGRY in 2010

GETTING THE POOR INTO COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE

FOOD SHORTAGES THREATEN TO BRING DOWN COUNTRIES

SUPER WEED THREATENS SOUTHERN CROPLAND

SOUTH AFRICAN FARMERS LOSE MILLIONS AS GM CORN CROP FAILS TO PRODUCE SEEDS

ENERGY SECRETARY CHU WARNS CALIFORNIA OF AGRI-CRISIS

SEEDING NEW GROCERY STORES

FDA APPROVES IRRADIATION OF LETTUCE & SPINACH

STUDY: HALF OF ALL FOOD IS WASTED

WORLD LEADERS DISCUSS GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS OVER GOURMET MEALS

AID GROUP SAYS IT WILL HAVE TO CUT FOOD TO 1.5 MILLION PEOPLE

ECOLOGY CONCERNS DRAW ATTENTION TO FOOD SHIPPING TRADITIONS

AGRIBUSINESS MAKING HUGE PROFITS OUT OF FOOD CRISIS

HUNGER CAUSES RISING ANGER AROUND THE WORLD

FOOD DISTANCE NOT AS BIG A FACTOR AS THOUGHT

BRITISH STUDY SAYS FOOD ADDITIVES HURT CHILDREN'S INTELLIGENCE

BIOFUELS FUEL FOOD GLOBAL FOOD DISASTER

HUGE FOOD SHORTAGE IN MUCH OF WORLD

FUEL AND LOCAL FOOD: SOME FACTS

MIDWEST AGRICULTURE BIG CONTRIBUTOR TO GULF DEAD ZONE

RISING CARBON DIOXIDE MAY HURT NUTRITION IN MAJOR CROPS

THE EARTH'S DISAPPEARING TOPSOIL

STUDY FINDS SOY CUTS SPERM COUNT

WASTED FOOD A BIG ECOLOGICAL NEGATIVE

 

Food stamps

Genetically modified food

Myths about genetic engineeering

Local food

Organic food

Statistics

Urban farming

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