Today's News - 19 April 2012
"Industrial-scale farming displaces and alienates people, creates few jobs and causes social disruption."
Candid admission from a British venture capitalist, with a 100,000-hectare stake in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, investor conference 2011 – reported by Fred Pearce - The Guardian - 17 April 2012
The trend for organic skincare is growing quickly, with many A-listers swearing by their natural lotions and potions. So what’s all the fuss about? No. 1 magazine separates fact from fiction in organic beauty products.
No. 1 Magazine (13 Apr, p.50)
Find out more about organic beauty here.
Chinese organic food market has ‘great potential’
China has a huge potential market for organic food and beverages as increasingly rich
people opt to pay a premium for what is deemed to be healthier food. Xiao Xingji, director of the Organic Food Development and Certification Centre, said in Beijing on Wednesday that the domestic market has turnover of more than US$1bn (760m euros) a year and is growing at 15%annually.
China Daily (19 Apr)
Monsanto Bt Crops: Genetically Modified corn linked to soil ecosystem threat
A new study has found that Monsanto’s insecticide-containing corn can be harmful to the overall health of soil ecosystems. Genetically modified corn has been linked to a decrease in a subterranean fungus that forms a symbiotic bond with plant roots, allowing them to draw in more nutrients and water from the surrounding soil in exchange for carbon.
International Business Times (17 Apr)
Worm charming to dig up interest in Highland soil festival
A worm charming contest is to be staged in an effort to get more people interested in the importance of protecting Scotland's soils. Janet Bromham, biodiversity officer with the local authority, said "soil biodiversity is receiving more attention from the press and the policy makers”.
BBC News (17 Apr)
Re-Dress: Only way is ethics
With the focus on survival in this financial crisis, sustainability and ethics could be perceived as having been shoved off our list of priorities. They are, in fact, of even more import and consequence to what is going on for Irish industry and livelihoods. As global business has discovered, using sustainable sources of energy and materials, recycling, cutting your carbon footprint, etc, not only cuts costs, it improves staff morale and company profile for ‘doing the right thing’.
The Irish Independent (18 Apr)
Eat my words: Tesco should adopt a more Earthy approach
A comparison between Tesco and new chain store called Earthy suggests Tesco are taking advantage of the recession and forgetting the importance of ‘real’ food. The report looks at the differences in price between organic and Tesco own and how food should be purchased.
The Times (19 Apr)
How factory farm drug abuse makes vets rich
It's no secret that factory farms use unconscionable amounts of antibiotics when fattening up animals for market. In Germany, however, veterinarians play a crucial role in the abuse. Many are getting rich in the process, but the risks to both human and animals are many.
Spiegel Online (18 Apr)
Farm group seeks US halt on 'dangerous' crop chemicals
A coalition of more than 2,000 U.S. farmers and food companies are taking legal action to force government regulators to analyse potential problems with proposed biotech crops and the weed-killing chemicals to be sprayed over them.
Reuters (18 April)
Animal exports: reviled trade where Ramsgate is new battleground
RSPCA and animal welfare supporters flock to seaside town becoming focus for bitter protests over cross-Channel sailings.
The Guardian (18 Apr)
Charlotte Smith hears British producers are warning changes in European Welfare rules will drive up the price of pork. But how much more humane are the new regulations? Whilst some home-grown crops could be up to three weeks earlier than expected, Farming Today asks whether this produce will be appearing on UK supermarket shelves.
BBC Radio 4, listen again (19 Apr)
And finally…Gravity disturbs bees' dancing
Honey bees that dance to give directions to flowers make more errors when performing horizontally due to gravity, say researchers.
BBC News (18 Apr)