Today's News - 05 October 2012
“Growing cotton is a toxic business; it uses a lot of pesticides – putting in peril the lives of women, men and children in cotton farming communities. 77 million cotton workers suffer poisonings from pesticides each year.”
Amy Leech, Soil Association research assistant– Soil Association blogs – 4 October 2012
Have you #CottonedOn? Find out more about the benefits of organic cotton at
A witch in my wardrobe
Amy Leech, Research Assistant at the Soil Association blogs on how her research into the global cotton industry has made her re-think her wardrobe: “Cotton is grown in a field, just like food. Sorry to be simple, but to be honest I’d never really stopped to think about what that means before…. We buy more cotton today than ever before – it makes up 40% of the textiles we buy, 100 million cotton farmers produce cotton in 80 countries worldwide. That’s a lot of cotton, a lot of people, and a lot of countries – a big impact. And I’ve found that, on the whole, this impact is not good.”
The Soil Association blog (4 Oct)
Find the facts and pledge your support for organic cotton at www.cottonedon.org
Shillingford’s great veg scoops organic food awards
Exeter-based Shillingford Organics received two highly commended awards and one commended for its beetroot, kohl rabi and new season carrots in the Soil Association’ss Organic Food Awards.
The Express and Echo (4 Oct, p.69)
National organic award for tasty eggs
Harry Hodgson, found of Harry’s Eggs has been selling eggs since he was six years old – and now they have been judged the tastiest organic free-range eggs in the country, in the Soil Association Organic Food Awards.
Darlington & Stockton Times (3 Oct)
Read more about the Soil Association Organic Food Awards
Risk of Choanal Atresia, a rare congenital abnormality, likely increased by exposure to herbicide
A common herbicide used in the United States may be linked to an increased risk of a congenital abnormality of the nasal cavity known as choanal atresia, say researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and other Texas institutions. The study focused on atrazine, which is the most commonly used herbicide in the U.S. - especially in corn crops - and is believed to be an endocrine disrupter.
Medical News Today (2 Oct)
EU is too big for CAP says MEP
MEP Stuart Agnew has criticised the proposed reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy and said the EU 'has become far too big to have a CAP'. The comments were made as part of a European Parliamentary press conference with fellow members of the Agricultural and Rural Development Committee in Brussels. “We are looking at countries which have 350 horsepower tractors vs countries that have draft oxen" the MEP said.
Farming UK (4 Oct)
California battle over GM labels
Voters in California will decide on a proposal next month that would require the labelling of most foods made with genetically modified ingredients. Proposition 37 is supported by the organic industry but many major food suppliers oppose it saying it will drive up prices. Around $40m is expected to be spent on campaigning with the majority coming from opponents. But a recent opinion poll shows a clear majority in favour of the proposal.
BBC News (5 Oct)
Food Prices Jump to Six-Month High as Dairy Costs Rise
World food prices rose in September to the highest in six months as dairy and meat producers passed on higher feed costs to consumers, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said. An index of 55 food items tracked by the FAO rose to 215.8 points from a restated 212.8 points in August, the Rome-based agency reported on its website today. Dairy costs jumped the most in more than two years.
Bloomberg (4 Oct)
World food prices near crisis levels
Prices driven higher by US drought along with production problems in Russia and other exporting countries World food prices rose in September and are moving nearer to levels reached during the 2008 food crisis.
The Guardian (4 Oct)
G20 calls off emergency food meeting
The G20 has called off an emergency ministerial meeting to discuss rising agricultural commodities prices, only weeks after France and the most senior food official at the UN formally convened the gathering.
Financial Times (4 Oct)
Scottish food and drink export sales 'on target'
Exports of Scottish food and drink could hit an industry target of £7.1bn in five years' time, according to research by Lloyds Banking Group.
BBC (4 Oct)
Scotland's fish farming faces stricter controls
Scotland's fish farming industry could face stricter regulation through new legislation. Holyrood's Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse believed the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill would support farms and protect fish stocks. Plans include tougher sanctions on fish farmers and increased scrutiny by environment agency Sepa.
BBC Online (4 Oct)
Farming 'shortcomings' undermines case for badger cull
EC report says failure to abide by cattle TB prevention measures is widespread, with authorities blaming lack of resources. A catalogue of failures in how England's farmers prevent their cattle spreading TB between herds was uncovered by an official European Commission inspection, the Guardian has learned. The previously unreported document was highlighted as government body Natural England issued a licence for a pilot cull in west Somerset on Thursday, following last month's granting of a licence to shoot badgers in Gloucestershire.
The Guardian (4 Oct)
Read the Soil Association’s position on the badger cull
Gardening and environment writer John Walker explains how recent reporting on the threat of weedkiller pollution in sowing and potting compost leaves gardeners without the full facts.
The Guardian, Gardening Blog (27 Sept)
As the first annual 'drift' sale of Dartmoor ponies takes place, Charlotte Smith hears how an ancient tradition - and the future of the ponies themselves - is under threat in the modern world. A second license to cull badgers aimed at controlling bovine tuberculosis has been granted - in Somerset. Charlotte hears reaction from farmers in the county.
BBC Radio4, listen again (5 Oct)
And finally…Animal pictures of the week: 20 September
The Telegraph (28 Sept)