09 August 2012
“Like some malicious fossilisation process, malnutrition transmits the impressions of droughts, food shortages, epidemics, conflicts and floods into the physiology of infants throughout their lives and across generations.”
Lawrence Haddad, director of the Institute of Development Studies, on the need for transparency and accountability at David Cameron’s global hunger summit – The Guardian – 9 August 2012
Objectors swarm to EPA over GM
Following the decision of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to give Teagasc the green light for their GM potato trial, The Irish Farmer went through the 275 pages in the 83 submissions made as part of the consultation process. Every single one opposed granting permission for the trial. The Mayo Organic Group made a particularly noteworthy submission, including a petition running to hundreds of signatures and an endorsement from the Soil Association in Britain.
The Irish Farmer (4 Aug, p.8)
Problems with EU’s organic food regulatory regime
Labour MEP for Munster, Phil Prendergast, has called for the regulatory regime which governs the organic food supply chain in Ireland and Europe to be strengthened. Mr Prendergast also called for a better exchange of information on infringements across the Member States and said "as there is no laboratory test for organic food, the label of a product as "organic" depends largely on the supply chain rather than the end result.”
Waterford Today (8 Aug)
September’s issue of Zest magazine includes a number of features on Organic September, including how to get involved, how to be organic on a budget and the ultimate organic menu, including exclusive recipes devised by the Riverford Field Kitchen.
Zest (1 Sept)
Find out more about Organic September.
Malnutrition is like the Olympics: it has our attention, but for how long?
Lawrence Haddad, director of the Institute of Development Studies writes that transparency and accountability must improve to ensure David Cameron's global hunger summit leads to lasting progress.
The Guardian (9 Aug)
Study reveals agroforestry may help support endangered birds
New research from the United States has shown that a branch of sustainable farming can benefit farmland bird populations, which are threatened in many parts of the world. Researchers from the University of Utah said that moves in many parts of the world to replace forests with open farmland could further accelerate the decline in a number of bird species. Wooded “shade” plantations and nautral forests which promote greater bird diversity are being replaced by ranches and farmland.
Farming Online (8 Aug)
Buoyant beef trade looks set to continue
Beef producers can be reasonably confident prices will remain strong well into next year, as keen demand chases generally tight supplies. Finished cattle prices have come back slightly from their peak earlier in July, but remain well above last year, while auctioneers say the store trade also remains very firm.
Farmers Weekly (9 Aug)
Big Ag spends big bucks to keep GMOs in your food
And labels, of course, could prompt consumers to demand more GMO-free foods—and in turn push farmers to demand non-GMO seeds, imperiling sales growth for the Big Six. Cue a gusher of agrichemical cash into the effort to defeat the labeling initiative. This year through June 1, hundreds of thousands in donations had already bolstered the coffers of the astroturf group "Coalition Against the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme, Sponsored by Farmers and Food Producers," the Secretary of State's Office reports.
Mother Jones (Aug 7)
Why PepsiCo is fighting GMO labelling in California
Most people just think of soda when they hear the name “Pepsi.” But in fact,PepsiCo is the nation’s largest food company and second largest in the world. Its annual earnings top $60 billion, from a dizzying array of brands. Walk down almost any supermarket aisle (soda, snacks, cereal, juice) and you’re likely to bump into a PepsiCo-owned product. This explains why the company is the top contributor among food makers to the “No on 37” campaign in California – a ballot initiative that would require labeling of foods containing GMO ingredients.
Tree Hugger (8 Aug)
Cats killing more wildlife than previously thought
Cats could be killing more wildlife than previously thought, according to a study which suggests the dead birds and rodents our pets leave on our doormats are just the tip of the iceberg.
The Telegraph (8 Aug)
Dry conditions and frosts have hit tea production in Kenya. This means that the cost of wholesale imported tea has risen by over 40% in the past year. The British Bee Keeping Association says queen bees are struggling to mate in the cold weather. Each year the UK produces around 5 and a half million tons of Barley which is used for animal feed and the malting industry. Only the premium barley goes to make Scotch Whisky. Moira Hickey visits the Benromach distillery in Forres to find out how small-scale distilleries can be a boon for local farmers.
BBC Radio 4, listen again (9 Aug)