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FOOD UNDERNEWS

Is the USDA rigging science in favor of Monsanto?

Common Dreams - More than 25 farmworker, environmental, and food safety organizations sent an open letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture demanding that the agency investigate reports that its scientists are facing retaliation and suppression of their research on controversial neonicotinoid insecticides that pose a danger to pollinator and human health.

The letter follows a petition filed in March by the advocacy organization Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility charging that "USDA scientists whose work carries with it policy implications that negatively reflect upon USDA corporate stakeholder interest s routinely suffer retaliation and harassment."

PEER executive director Jeff Ruch told Common Dreams that the petition was drafted "based on the experiences of 10 USDA scientists" who allegedly faced retaliation and punishment for research on neonicotinoid insecticides and glyphosate, which is included in Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide, as well as related topics, including genetically modified crops.

According to the petition, consequences included suspension without pay, threats of irreparable damage to careers, and "demotion from supervisory status and a reprimand after the scientist provided testimony before Congress that did not reflect agency preferences."

"Each one of these actions delivers a powerful message to all colleagues," said Ruch, who argued that retaliation against researchers stems from the coziness of the agency with the industry. "The USDA never met a biotechnology it didn't embrace," he said.

World Trade Organization gives a hint of what's in store from TPP

Common Dreams - [A] final ruling by the World Trade Organization Appellate Body against popular U.S. country - of - origin meat labelingpolicy spotlights how trade agreements can undermine domestic public interest policies, Public Citizen said today .

The WTO decision is likely to further fuel opposition to Fast Track authority for controversial “trade” pacts that would expose U.S. consumer and environmental protections to more such challenges.

COOL requires labeling of pork and beef sold in the United States to inform consumers the country in which the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.

In a May 1, 2015, letter, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack informed Congress that it will need to repeal the COOL law or else change it if the final WTO ruling were to go against the United States. In contrast, in his recent speech at Nike, President Barack Obama said, "Critics warn that parts of this deal would undermine American regulation – food safety, worker safety, even financial regulations. They’re making this stuff up. This is just not true. No trade agreement is going to force us to change our laws."

"Today’s WTO ruling, which effectively orders the U.S. government to stop providing consumers basic information about where their food comes from, offers a clear example of why so many Americans and members of Congress oppose the Fast Tracking of more so-called 'trade' pacts that threaten commonsense consumer safeguards," said Wallach. "The corporations lobbying to Fast Track the TPP must be groaning right now, as this ruling against a popular consumer protection in the name of 'free trade' spotlights exactly why there is unprecedented opposition to more of these deals."

MIT comes up with solar desalination machine

Daily Kos - MIT engineers have invented a new desalination machine that runs on solar energy. The project began in 2013 when the engineers went to India with the hopes of helping poorer villages and townships with their drinking water.

Business insider - The group came up with a method that uses solar panels to charge a bank of batteries. The batteries then power a system that removes salt from the water through electrodialysis. On the most basic level, that means that dissolved salt particles, which have a slight electric charge, are drawn out of the water when a small electrical current is applied. In addition to getting rid of salt (which makes water unusable for crops and for drinking), the team also applied UV light to disinfect some of the water as it passed through the system.

The interesting history of farm CSAs

A high production miniature farm

Valhalla Movement - The Dervaes family live on 1/10th of an acre 15 minutes from downtown L.A.. In itself that’s not strange. What’s crazy is that they manage to maintain a sustainable and independent urban farm. Complete with animals!

In a year they produce around 4,300 pounds of veggies, 900 chicken , 1000 duck eggs, 25 lbs honey, and pounds of seasonal fruit. There are over 400 species of plants. What?! They have everything they need to ‘live off the land.’ From beets to bees. Chickens to chickpeas.

What the family doesn’t eat they sell from their porch, making around $20,000 a year. Local organic food is so popular that they don’t have any problems finding customs. Even chefs from restaurants seek them out.

How TPP could damage your health

Vegetarians don't stick with it

Zoning for urban agriculture

2014

Study finds carbs worse than high fat

Most vegetarians give it up

World Trade Organization rules against source of meat labelling requirements

Why natural foods may not be natural

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

Local food
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States that best support local food

Food stats
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Somewhere around 1.1 billion acres is being cultivated for food in or within about 12 miles (20 kilometers) of cities. Most of that land is on the periphery of cities, but 16.6 percent of these urban farms are in open spaces within the municipal core.


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
Myths about genetic engineeering

Study: Monsanto helped kill the monarch butterfly

Farmers turn away from Monsanto

MIT scholar warns of greatly increased autism in children due to GMO

Russia has ban on imports of GMOs

2014

Study finds GMOs contaminate corn up to 2.8 miles away

McDonald's Rejects GMO Potatoes

Mexican judge cancels Monsanto planting permit

The ghosts in the GMO machine

Study find cancer jump near fields of GM crops

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 food in Boston

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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Organic farms booming around the globe

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

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

 

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

Local food

Organic food

Statistics

Urban farming

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