Today's news - 08 February 2013
“From our research we know that the more farmer voices are featured on a given programme, the more likely farmers will listen and subsequently gain knowledge. This is even more so when radio programmes are designed with farmer input, and when broadcasters solicit feedback from farmers and use it to improve their programmes."
Kevin Perkins, executive director of Farm Radio International.
The Guardian (7 Feb)
FSA orders tests of processed beef after horsemeat is found in Findus lasagne
Food Standards Agency chief says situation is 'appalling' and likely result of a criminal act rather than mistaken contamination. The Food Standards Agency has ordered all British companies to test their processed beef products in the next week after analysis of lasagne made by Findus found up to 100% of the meat came from horses.
The Guardian (8 Feb)
Read our statement on the Food Standards Agency order: Rob Sexton, CEO, Soil Association Certification said “Organic is a highly regulated food system. Any product sold as ‘organic’ must comply with strict rules assuring consumers they are buying genuine products that can be fully traceable back to the farm. Independent organic inspectors accredit every step of the supply chain, meaning buying organic offers consumers a more confident choice about the food they buy and eat”.
Farmers cultivate support to protect CAP budget
Hundreds of European farmers who gathered in Brussels on the eve of an EU budget summit sent a terse message to national leaders: Hands off the CAP. Some 400 representatives of farm groups and cooperatives agreed a five-point declaration on 6 February, warning EU leaders to hold the line on funding for the Common Agricultural Policy or risk killing jobs and undermining food security.
EurActiv (7 Feb)
Exclusive: UK could go it alone on GM – Paterson
Individual EU member states should be allowed to make the decision on whether to adopt GM, according to DEFRA secretary Owen Paterson. In a bid to pave the way for the UK to go it alone on the technology, he has begun talks on this "single state" approach with EU health and consumer policy commissioner Tonio Borg.
Farming Weekly (8th Feb)
The Soil Association’s position on GM
Agroforestry on arable land should prove profitable
One Cambridgeshire tenant farmer takes a pioneering approach by mixing in apple trees with his arable crop. Tom Levitt finds out how Stephen Briggs believes agroforestry can help diversify UK farms.
Farmers Guardian (5 Feb)
Invasive mussel poses ecological and economic threat to island community
The economic survival of the world's most remote island community is being threatened by a destructive invasive species after Mediterranean mussels were discovered close to lobster beds around Tristan da Cunha. Tristan da Cunha depends on the lobster beds for 80% of its income
The Guardian (7 Feb)
New versus old media: how best to get information to smallholder farmers
For smallholders in developing countries, information on weather, markets and agricultural techniques is key to improving productivity. But what is the best way of delivering that information? Here, three projects based on radio, mobile technology and social networking give an insight into what can work.
The Guardian (7 Feb)
Chart: the top 5 land-grabbing countries
In 2010, a former Wall Street trader flew into war-torn Sudan to negotiate a deal with a thuggish general. He had his eye on a 1 million acre tract of fertile land fed by a tributary of the Nile in the southern section of the country, a region that later claimed its independence as South Sudan. The investor, who planned to profit by developing and exporting agricultural commodities, boasted about how the region's instability was a principal variable in his financial mode
Mother Nature Network (6 Feb)
Animal magnetism: how salmon find their way back home
According to one theory, it's all about magnetism. When salmon are young, the theory goes, they imprint on the pattern of the Earth's magnetic field at the mouth of their native river. Years later, when the salmon head back home to spawn, they home in on that pattern. In a study published Thursday in Current Biology, the scientists behind that theory now say they have evidence that's exactly how the fish are navigating.
NPR (7 Feb)
Canadian researchers call for moves towards greater biodiversity
'Integrative biologists' from Canada's University of Guelph have warned of "the perils of ecosystem breakdown," following the publication of a research paper demonstrating how biodiversity protects ecosystems.
farming.co.uk (7 Feb)
Syngenta urges France to rethink neonicotinoid stance
Syngenta has written to farm ministers in France and The Netherlands to urge them to vote down an EU proposal to ban neonicotinoid pesticides.
Farmers Weekly (7 Feb)
Jo James, the Chief Executive of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, argues that HS1 greatly benefits the South East. And it is a year since farmer John Barnes discovered that HS2 would be going through his land in Staffordshire. He is coming to terms with what this means for his business.
BBC Radio 4 (8 Feb)
And finally… Six animals changing size before your eyes
New Scientist (6 Feb)