Today's News - 26 March 2012
“Organic barley was always significantly more expensive, but the disparity between that and ‘standard’ barley is coming down. As the cost of oil goes up and adds to the expense of fertilisers and pesticides, so non-organic barley prices have risen.”
Mark Reynier, managing director of Bruichladdich Distillery Company, on the economics of producing organic whiskey – Whiskey Magazine – 1 April 2012
Soil Association condemns Morrisons GM policy switch
The Soil Association has criticised Morrisons’ decision to drop its GM-free feed requirement for poultrymeat and eggs as a “huge step in the wrong direction” and is now calling for all GM products to be clearly labelled.
Farmers Weekly (23 Mar)
Morrisons gambles on GM chicken feed shift
The Grocer (23 Mar)
Morrisons poultry to be given GM feed
The Daily Telegraph (26 Mar, p.14)
Gavin D. Smith looks into what being organically certified by the Soil Association means for the emerging organic whiskey market and speaks with a few of the distillers who believe organic whiskey not only tastes better but fits perfectly with their emphasis on place and provenance as well as good farming practices.
Whiskey Magazine (1 Apr, p.26)
Organic wine growing gains ground in France
Organic wine growing is gaining ground in France where a Bordeaux Sauternes "grand cru", the highest classification level, has just been awarded the official biological farming logo. The sweet white wine -- made from a mixture of semillon and sauvignon blanc grapes -- has been grown for hundreds of years in this southwestern French region, but production today involves neither artificial pesticides, nor fertilisers, nor herbicides.
The West (26 Mar)
Why Ireland needs to test GM potatoes
A major new European Union study is set to examine the effects of growing genetically modified, blight-resistant potato plants on biodiversity and the environment in agricultural ecosystems. It will also see the first GM crops being grown in Ireland since the late 1990s. Dr Eoin Lettice argues why this might be a good thing.
The Guardian (23 Mar)
DTI unlocks the organic food market
The South African Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, last week unveiled an agriculture development programme which will give emerging organic farmers access to markets and mainly a place within mainstream retailer’s shelves. The Organic Farmer Development Programme was also styled to benefit the environment as well as to increase job creation in the rural areas.
The New Age (26 Mar)
FDA action ordered on farm’s antibiotic use
A federal court judge has ordered the Food and Drug Administration to take action on its own 35-year-old rule that would stop farmers from mixing popular antibiotics into animal feed, a practice which is widely believed to have led to a surge in dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria.
TIME (23 Mar)
Read the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics report: ‘Case Study of a Health Crisis’
Rising number of farm animals ’poses environmental risk’
The global population of farm animals increased 23% between 1980 and 2010, from 3.5bn to 4.3bn, according to research by Worldwatch. These figures continue a trend of rising farm animal populations, with potentially harmful effects on the environment, public health, and global development.
Farming UK (24 Mar)
GMOs shall not pass borders, Turkish agricultural minister declares
Turkey will never produce vegetables or plants with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker said at a 23 March meeting with editors from the Anatolian news agency.
Daily News (24 Mar)
GMO food producers create children’s book
Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, and five other major biotechnology companies and associations have collectively released the Biotechnology Basics Activity Book, a colourful book for children which includes word scrambles, fill-in-the-blank puzzles, and matching games.
The Canadian (26 Mar)
Views the book here.
Schmallenberg virus: alert over midges as weather warms
Common midges are likely be spreading a disease which has caused thousands of lambs and calves to be born dead or horribly deformed, scientists have found.
The Daily Telegraph (25 Mar)
The Rare Breeds Survival Trust believes old livestock breeds could help in the drive to produce more food, using fewer resources. How dairy farmers are using hi-tech gadgetry to measure how fast the grass is growing and how long a field will feed a herd of cows. And, consumption of goats' milk is close to 20m litres a year for the first time.
BBC Radio 4, listen again (26 Mar)
And finally…You can have your yogurt — and container too
Someday, really finished could mean eating the container, too. That’s a goal of Gary Hirshberg, co-founder and chairman of Vermont-based Stonyfield Farm, a leading organic yogurt producer
News Telegram (25 Mar)