Today's News - 21 September 2012
“I want to know — quite technically, in all the detail available — how my food is produced, and I’m far from alone. We’d be able to make saner choices, and those choices would greatly affect Big Food’s ability to freely use genetically manipulated materials, an almost unlimited assortment of drugs and inhumane and environmentally destructive animal-production methods.”
Mark Bittman – New York Times – 15 September 2012
Author defends Monsanto GM study as EU orders review
The French author of a study linking a type of genetically modified corn to higher health risks in rats dismissed criticism of his research methods on Thursday, describing the work as the most detailed study to date on the subject.
Reuters (20 Sept)
Read the Soil Association comment.
G.M.O.’s: Let’s Label ’Em
Mark Bittman argues for GM labelling.
New York Times (15 Sept, 2012)
Farmers who kill badgers should be stripped of organic status, claim animal rights groups
Animal rights campaigners have escalated the badger cull campaign by asking the Soil Association to strip participating farmers of their organic status. Humane Society International and Care for the Wild claim consumers do not want not want to pay a premium for organic products from farms that are shooting badgers. However the Soil Association insisted it was up to individual farmers. “As far as farmers licensed by the Soil Association are concerned, our standards cover all aspects of production, but not other things that happen on farms, like public access, hunting, and shooting game species. So it will be up to individual farmers to decide whether they will join groups of farmers who wish to apply for licences to vaccinate and/or cull badgers on their land, as part of any government approved programme," said a spokesman.
The Daily Telegraph (21 Sept, p.12)
Liverpool chef Paul Feery champions organic produce
Organic food producers have been using crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control for
generations long before intensive farming was dreamed up. Now it seems chefs are increasingly aware of organic produce, and its improved taste and quality in their finished dishes. Blakes Restaurant at the Hard Days Night Hotel is celebrating as part of the Soil Association's month long celebration of all things organic. For the rest of September, chefs will be serving an array of dishes made using only organic produce, including brown trout with tomato and borlotti bean and braised fennel.
The Liverpool Echo (20 Sept)
Lincolnshire in Focus celebrates the best of Organic September.
Lincolnshire Focus (1 Sept, p.37)
Find out how you can get involved in Organic September.
Stripy aubergine wins
Abel and Cole’s stripy aubergine, supplied by Adrian Izzard of Wild Country Organics, has won the prize for best vegetable at the Soil Association’s Organic Food Awards 2012. A flowery herb salad produced by Maddocks Farm Organics own the salad category at the event.
Fresh Produce Journal (14 Sept, p.6)
Find out more about the Organic Food Awards.
Armed and dangerous: how to tackle pests and diseases in small gardens
When slugs, snails, bindweed and box blight strike, should we reach for a bottle of something deadly or stick to organic tactics? Garden designer Kate Gould writes that: “while it has been simple in years past to head straight to the shed for a can of something deadly whenever a plant was besieged in the garden, in my experience the slow approach can be equally as effective. And you are safe in the knowledge that you know what you are putting on your plants and in the ground and, in the long term, what you are exposing yourself to.”
The Guardian (20 Sept)
Agriculture: Food produce speculation remains niche area
Crop speculation by traders is back in the spotlight after food prices rose by an average of 6 per cent globally in July and critics argue speculation heaps further pressure on the world’s poorest people. A number of European banks have bowed to pressure and have withdrawn products that enable investors to speculate on food prices after campaigners said these investment vehicles play a significant role in pushing up prices globally.
Financial Times (21 Sept)
EU U-turn spells doom for food-based biofuels boom
European Union plans to cap the use of food-based biofuels are a major setback for an industry once seen playing a central role in the fight against climate change, but now more often cast as the villain following a series of global food price spikes.
Reuters (20 Sept)
Farmers in the Peak District call for off-road users to be banned from green lanes.
BBC Radio4, listen again (21 Sept)
And finally…Man revives dying bumblebee by hand feeding it honey
A caring nature lover saved a dying bumblebee from death's door after hand feeding it with some honey.
The Metro (20 Sept 2012)