Today's News - 03 April 2012
“Times are tough out there, but people don’t leave their values at the shop door – they look for ways to afford healthier, ethical products. The 7 per cent growth in home delivery, box scheme and mail order of organic food shows diversified shopping habits.”
Laura Stewart, head of Soil Association Scotland, finds reasons to be optimistic for the organic market – The Scotsman – 3 April 2012
Organic sector still growing despite the recession
Head of Soil Association Scotland, Laura Stewart, writes about the reasons to be optimistic for the future of organic food as well as the growing movement to relocalise our food systems, despite the tough economic climate.
The Scotsman (3 Apr, p.30)
Organic sales suffer but it’s not all bad news, says Soil Association
British Farmer & Grower (1 Apr, p.8)
Pressure to increase control of antibiotic use on US farms
Farmers in the US may soon be prevented from dosing healthy livestock with antibiotics that encourage faster growth. Pressure to ban the practice has fallen on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) following a court ruling and the publication of research showing how a strain of bacteria jumped from humans to farm animals and back to humans again, picking up antibiotic resistance on the way.
New Scientist (31 Mar, p.6)
Find out more about the Soil Association’s campaign to end routine use of antibiotics on farms here.
Wonder drugs no longer
An editorial on the dangers of misusing antibiotics begins the latest edition of the New Scientist, concluding that we must re-examine our tendency to over prescribe them to humans or use them as dietary supplements for animals.
New Scientist (31 Mar, p.5)
Medicine that makes you fat
The trillions of bacteria that colonise our guts are in jeopardy. Overusing antibiotics has not only led to the development of dangerous superbugs, but has changed the bacteria that live inside us. Now evidence suggests that new gut floras may be responsible for expanding waistlines.
New Scientist (31 Mar, p.8)
Bee health a top priority, says crop protection boss
Rejecting calls for a ban on certain insecticidal seed treatments, the crop protection industry has moved to highlight the regulatory controls and stewardship advice in place to protect the health and welfare of bees.
Farming UK (2 Apr)
Death knell may sound for Canada’s GMO pigs
Pigs that might have become the world's first genetically modified animals approved for human consumption may instead face an untimely end, as key backers of Canada's "Enviropig" project withdrew their support for the controversial engineered animal.
Reuters (2 Apr)
The one gold medal we don’t want to win: US lead the way in breeding antibiotic-resistant disease
Animal Welfare Approved Programme Director Andrew Gunther writes on how the U.S. pride themselves on being the best of the best; and, this Olympic year they’ll all be hoping to come home with the Gold. However, there is one area where the U.S. leads which should deeply concern us all.
Huffington Post (2 Apr)
England needs double normal summer rainfall, say experts
As water companies prepare to enforce a hosepipe ban across the south of England from Thursday (April 5), researchers at the University of Reading said the affected region needed rainfall equivalent to the amount seen during the 2007 summer floods to get back to normal.
Farmers Guardian (2 Apr)
Forage based protein research underway in £2m project
Scientists at Aberystwyth University are addressing the UK protein deficit through a five-year research project valued at £2.15 million. As consumers increasingly switch from largely vegetable based diets to consumption of more meat and dairy, global demand for animal protein is predicted to rise by 85% by 2050 driven by population growth and increasing affluence in developing countries.
Farmers Guardian (3 Apr)
Why British eggs are hot property
Europe’s ban on battery cages has put the industry in turmoil – but it’s good news for our local egg producers.
The Telegraph (2 Apr)
Govt launches hotlines for farming interests
Rural business in the North West and Southern England will now have a hotline direct to government as three new Rural and Farming Networks are announced. Environment Minister, Richard Benyon said "We are giving rural communities a new voice so that their interests will not be neglected by Government as they have been in the past.
Farming UK (2 Apr)
Caz Graham hears the scale of the deluge needed to replenish water supplies across England. Farming Today continues its look at access to the countryside and hears from a rambling group which says volunteers may have to take over maintenance of hedges, help rebuild styles and secure gates on public footpaths, if local councils cut vital funding for countryside access. And Moira Hickey laces up her hiking boots as she explores a Scottish glen and investigates how the law governing rights of way works in Scotland.
BBC Radio 4, listen again (3 Apr)
And finally...Rhubarb Liqueur coming to the UK
The liqueur comes from the first organic distillery in Sweden, located in the town of Åkers Styckebruk in the region of Södermanland. Rhuby is produced by the addition of sugar and bourbon vanilla beans to juiced Swedish rhubarb petioles (stalks).
The Drinks Business (3 Apr)