Today's News - 20 September 2012
"This is the most thorough research ever published into the health effects of GM food crops and the herbicide Roundup on rats. It shows an extraordinary number of tumours developing earlier and more aggressively – particularly in female animals."
Dr Michael Antoniou, of King's College London – The Telegraph – 19 Sept 2012
GM crop enquiry launched by French government
The French government has launched an inquiry into the safety of genetically modified crops after a study suggested GM maize could cause cancer in rats. A research team from the University of Caen reported that rats fed a lifelong diet of a common strain of genetically modified corn developed breast tumours and severe damage to their liver and kidneys. Although previous safety trials have established that the corn had no adverse effects on animals after 90 days, the trial is thought to be the first to examine its health impact over a longer scale.
The Telegraph (19 Sept)
GM crop study finds health damage in rats
The Financial Times (19 Sept)
Monsanto Roundup weedkiller and GM maize implicated in ‘shocking’ new cancer study
The Grocer (19 Sept)
French GM-fed rat study triggers furore
BBC News (19 Sept)
The Sustainable Food Trust has set up a microsite providing a breakdown of the report.
Read about the Soil Association’s campaign against GM.
Scientists: overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture endangers humans
The overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture and medicine is putting human lives at unnecessary risk and driving up medical costs, according to a group of group of 150 scientists that includes a former head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Along with 50 US farmers and ranchers who have opted out of using non-therapeutic antibiotics in their animal feed, the scientists are calling on the FDA and Congress to work together to regulate unnecessary use of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
The Guardian (19 Sept)
Find out more about the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics
Whole Foods CEO: Organic Food Is Worth It
Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb gives his reasons for why people will keep buying organic.
Huffington Post (19 Sept)
Netherlands: Organic food on the rise
Organic fruit and vegetables are indispensable from Dutch shelves, and the fresh produce industry will have to keep up. The consumption of organically produced food will only increase, according to Jan Groen of Green Organics. “The last couple of years haven’t been easy, with the crisis and all, but the organic sector has proven to be immune.” Groen sees an annual growth of 4 to 10%.
Fresh Plaza (19 Sept)
Is it worth going organic?
The Jersey Evening Post looks at the principles behind organic farming, and why people, are still choosing to buy organic. Brian Adair, chairman of the Jersey Organic Association commented that: “The vitamin and mineral content side of organic food is not the central point of it. It’s about environment, it’s about biodiversity and it’s about sustainability. It’s a system.”
Jersey Evening Post (15 Sept, 2012)
Question of trust in the organic food wars
Financial Times (19 Sept)
Soil Association gets all animated about organic
To celebrate Organic September, the Soil Association has collaborated with animation students from the University of West England to create a set of five animations explaining our Five Reasons to Choose Organic.
Natural Products Online (19 Sept, 2012)
Reason #1 is animal welfare. Check out the animation here.
Find out more about the Soil Association’s animal welfare standards.
Find out how you can get involved with Organic September.
Farmers, activists to converge on EU headquarters to push for greener, fairer farm policy
Farmers and activists from all over the continent, including representatives from the Soil Association, converged on European Union headquarters Wednesday to push for a food policy that is fairer to family farmers and kinder to the environment and developing nations.
Behind tractors, several hundred protesters, some of whom have been cycling or walking for weeks in the Good Food March, gathered for a mass brunch outside the European Parliament in Brussels, where a reform of the costly pan-EU farm system is being discussed.
Washington Post (19 Sept, 2012)
Climate changes everything
At the end of an abysmal growing year, only one thing is certain: the familiar rhythms of gardening are gone for good.
Hartley-Botanic (18 Sept, 2012)
Mascot crowing about low food-mile lunches
Joe Joe the Crow, the mascot of the borough's new school caterer, the first contract caterer to achieve the Food for Life* catering mark awarded by the Soil Association has visited Wokingham town centre to tell children and parents about the delicious' and nutritious dinners on school menus. Caterlink provide school meals to 51 of the boroughs primary schools and three secondary schools.
Wokingham Times (12 September, p.18)
Find out more about the Food for Life Catering Mark here.
Farming 'at risk' from lack of well-trained workers
A shortage of well-trained workers is threatening the future of farming in the East, industry figures have warned.
BBC News (19 Sept)
Find out more about the Soil Association Organic Apprenticeship Scheme; a two year work-based placement with an organic farmer or grower. Farm based work is combined with a series of structured seminars to build upon the practical knowledge gained out in the field.
Taking public health beyond NHS and local government
The Guardian (19 Sept)
The Climate Change FAQ
Through a Q&A, the Guardian looks at how climate change will affect food production.
The Guardian (19 Sept, 2012)
How pig paternity tests are being used to fight meat mislabelling in Ireland.
BBC Radio4, Listen Again (20 Sept, 2012)
And finally… Prisoners serve up food at Cardiff Clink restaurant
A restaurant next door to a south Wales prison and staffed by inmates has opened to the public.
BBC News (20 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.