27 September 2012
“We can change things for the better. But first we have to listen and learn humility and value wisdom above cleverness or success or point-scoring or winning in any pathetic way. And even now Rachel Carson is as good a model for this as anyone.”
Soil Association president Monty Don – The Guardian – 27 September 2012
ASA bins complaint against organic food advert
The Advertising Standards Authority has quashed a complaint from an unidentified plaintiff against an advertising campaign for organic produce. The ASA upheld the Organic Trade Board’s assertion that organic produce contains less pesticides than conventional food. The advert in question features two apples discussing ‘treatments,’ while a caption underneath reads “they may look the same, but one way to reduce your exposure to pesticides is to eat more organic food.” Organic producers certified by the Soil Association, the UK’s premier organic certification body, are only permitted to use 5 pesticides (and the Soil Association claims the use of these is strictly restricted), compared to the 300 chemicals on offer for non-organic farmers.
Farming Online (26 Sept)
Organic Trade Board’s pesticide claim backed by ad watchdog
The Grocer (26 Sept)
What is the legacy of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring?
Monty Don, the gardening broadcaster and Soil Association president, blogs for Leo Hickman with his thoughts on why Silent Spring is as important today as ever.
The Guardian (27 Sept)
Soil Association licensee Riverford enjoys economic growth despite downturn
The family owned business said pre-tax profits rose from £508,000 to £1.23m the year to April. Riverford delivers its organic range to more than 40,000 customers each week from four British farms. Guy Watson, who founded Riverford in Devon 25 years ago, said: “Our customers like to know who our growers are, that they are growing their produce ethically. It’s got to taste good, it’s got to have a story behind it.”
The Daily Telegraph (27 Sept)
California's Prop 37: Monsanto, GMO labelling and the public Interest
Over half of the staggering sum spent on defeating the measure of labelling comes from pesticide and biotech firms. Polls in the US have indicated a bipartisan, nearly unanimous support for labelling GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Faced with those bleak odds, Monsanto, the biotech Goliath, threw in another $2.89 million on September 14 in an effort to defeat the measure - nearly doubling its total contributions heading into the homestretch of the election.
Al Jazeera (26 Sept)
ISS achieves silver Catering Mark for Richmond schools contract
ISS Facility Services Education has achieved silver Food for Life* Catering Mark for serving fresh and healthy meals to schools in the London Borough of Richmond. The catering company has been awarded the Soil Association’s silver Food for Life Catering Mark for providing the schools it serves in the borough with “carefully designed menus, which include a selection of seasonal, local and organic ingredients”.
Cost Sector Catering (26 Sept)
Find out about the Food for Life Catering Mark.
U.K. Has Organic Wheat Seed Shortage as Rain Spurs Blight
Organic wheat farmers in the U.K. can’t find seeds as winter-crop planting begins, after the wettest summer in a century spurred a blight of diseases.
Bloomberg Businessweek (26 Sept)
Rat study sparks GM furore
Cancer claims put herbicide-resistant transgenic maize in the spotlight.
Nature.com (25 Sept)
Read the Soil Association comment: Roundup & GM maize research.
A cull of thousands of geese on Orkney raises objections from animal rights campaigners.
BBC Radio4, Listen Again, (27 Sept)
Crispin Odey’s chickens come home to (a luxury) roost
Hedge fund chief Crispin Odey has upped the ante for poultry accommodation – he’s building a temple for his chickens for which the stone alone costs £130,000.
Daily Telegraph (25 Sept)
*The Food for Life Partnership (www.foodforlife.org.uk) is a network of schools and communities across England committed to transforming food culture. Together we are revolutionising schools meals, reconnecting young people with farms and inspiring families to cook and grow food.
The project is led by the Soil Association, bringing together the practical expertise of the Focus on Food Campaign, Garden Organic and the Health Education Trust.