Today's News - 08 October 2012
“There is no breakdown of GM or non-GM cotton use in the UK, but as an importer of finished textiles from regions where cotton is mostly GM, it is assumed up to three-quarters is from GM seeds.”
Simon Ferringo, author – The Daily Telegraph – 6 October 2012
Have you #CottonedOn? Find out more about the benefits of organic cotton at
Most cotton clothes in shops are GM
Three-quarters of the cotton clothes bought in shops are made from genetically modified crops, according to experts. Sean Ferringo, author of a book about the industry, said that while only 12 countries grow GM crops, they account for most of the world’s cotton production. In India, up to 90% of the cotton is now genetically engineered, with the majority of crops in China and the US also GM. The Soil Association is so worried that the use of GM cotton has been adopted without full consultation it has launched the Organic Cotton Initiative, urging consumers to choose organic for environmental reasons. A spokeswoman from the organisation explained that GM cotton production can involve dangerous pesticides and gives farmers little control over their crops.
The Daily Telegraph (6 Oct, p.11)
Have you cottoned on yet?
Have you cottoned on yet? That’s the question Peter Melchett, policy director of the Soil Association, asked textile-industry leaders at the Sustainable Textiles Conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Melchett urged manufacturers and retailers to address the economic and social damage associated with conventional cotton farming and processing.
Ecouterre Magazine (5 Oct)
Find the facts and pledge your support for organic cotton at www.cottonedon.org
Final roll-call for RITE Conference
The final line-up has been announced for this year’s RITE Group Conference which takes place in Central Hall, Westminster, London on Wednesday 10 October. Lord Melchett will provide the conference with details of the Soil Association’s ‘Have you Cottoned on Yet?’ campaign which claims to gather evidence which shows that organic cotton is the long-term goal for brands wanting to offer sustainable textiles.
Ecotextile News (8 Oct)
Waitrose Sales Up
Sales at grocer Waitrose increased 6.9% as ‘Organic September’ came to an encouraging end. Driven by promotions across its Duchy Originals range, sales of English muffins, butter sultana scones and lamb half legs soared 500 per cent, 700 per cent and 292 per cent respectively as customers favoured British favourites as Autumn set in.
Retail Gazette (5 Oct)
Read more about Organic September
Frustration for pig producer as delays over planning continue
Developers seeking to build a pig farm in Foston admit they are "frustrated" at how long it is taking for the application to be decided.
Midland Pig Producers wants to build the farm for up to 25,000 animals, west of Woodland Drive in Foston. The proposal has attracted more than 20,000 objections from all over the world by letter, e-mail or signatures on petitions.
Derby Telegraph(6 Oct)
Find out more about the Soil Association’s Not in My Banger campaign
The West Country did well in the Soil Association Organic Food Awards. Winning products included Dylesford Organic pea and mint soup, and Bath Soft Cheese’s Wyfe of Bath.
Food Magazine (1 Oct, p.9)
Read about the Soil Association Organic Food Awards
Milk turns sour for farmers
Danny Forsten writes that many farmers are losing money on every pint they sell. But before a debate can be had over blame, it is important to understand the economics.
The Sunday Times (7 Oct)
Thousands of farmers expected at 'day of action'
Thousands of farmers are expected to converge on Dublin tomorrow for a protest organised by the Irish Farmers’ Association to highlight their concerns over the future of family farming.
Irish Times (8 Oct)
Mash of the yay: Irish boffins engineer a blight-free potato crop
A crop of genetically modified potatoes have turned out blight-free, a new study has shown. Research by the Teagasc group also revealed that standard potatoes planted beside the GM batch last August in Co Carlow were diseased. Farmers were not convinced, with West Limerick farmer Con Cremin declaring he wanted nothing to do with GM crops.
The Sun (7 Oct)
Read about the Soil Association’s position on GM
Prop. 37 Will Test California's Appetite For GMO Food
Alicia Chang writes that more than just food packaging is at stake. The outcome could reverberate through American agriculture, which has long tinkered with the genes of plants to reduce disease, ward off insects and boost the food supply.
Huffington Post (6 Oct)
Prop 37: California soil scientist says label up!
Huffington Post (6 Oct)
Scottish homes waste £2,000 worth of food and drink every minute
Scots bin one fifth of all the food and drink they buy every year, costing an astonishing £1 billion annually, according to a new campaign aimed a cutting down household waste.
The Scotsman (8 Oct)
Benefits of on-farm renewable energy highlighted
Speaking ahead of the first ever Anaerobic Digestion conference to be held in Northern Ireland, Minister Michelle O’Neill said this week that she wanted to see more farmers embrace the potential of renewable energy resources to help support farming activities.
Farming Life (7 Oct)
Biofuels and the food that’s going up in smoke
Geoffrey Lean writes that the new EU policy on biofuels is resisted by the industry, but its limits are actually not harsh enough.
The Daily Telegraph (5 Oct)
In the Orkney Islands wind turbines are to be found on many farms - and have been a useful boost to farm incomes. However, as Alasdair Cross reports from the Islands, there is a problem; these turbines are now producing an energy surplus. And English winemakers are picking grapes in the rain. What are the prospects for the 2012 vintage?
BBC Radio4, listen again (8 Oct)
And finally…James Bond: Does 007 eat all the wrong things?
In 50 years of James Bond films we are left with no doubt about the hero's love of vodka martinis. In Ian Fleming's books Bond's passion for good food was also apparent. But could 007's diet really sustain his high-action lifestyle?
BBC News (5 Oct)