Today's news - 15 February 2013
“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."
Rob Sexton, CEO of Soil Association Certification
TUCO (13 Feb)
How can caterers protect themselves from the horsemeat scandal?
Many university caterers might insist that because they don't buy ready meals they need not worry about the recent horsemeat scandal. But the Food Standards Agency has stated that it has ordered British companies to test all their processed beef products.To ensure that customers remain confident with a food outlet that the food they buy is correctly labelled, caterers could turn to recognised and trusted organisations such as Red Tractor and source organic products.
TUCO (13 Feb)
Find out about the Soil Association’s Catering Mark
Horsemeat scandal should make us rethink how we eat
Forget food taboos and veterinary drugs, what really matters here is how we produce meat – and what meat we're prepared to eat.
New Scientist (14 Feb)
Read our latest statement on food system regulation
Organic markets in Central and Eastern Europe on the rise
The importance of the new EU member countries and its eastern neighbours is steadily increasing. Detailed information on organic farming and organic food market in the east as "Country Reports on Organic Agriculture in Central and Eastern Europe" prepared by EkoConnect will be presented at BioFach 2013.
Organic Market Info (13 Feb)
Traces of anxiety drugs may make fish act funny
Many of the drugs we take aren't actually digested — they pass through our bodies, and down through the sewer pipes. Traces of those drugs end up in the bodies of fish and other wildlife. Nobody's sure what effect they have. Now, a paper being published in Science magazine finds that drugs for anxiety drugs — even at these very low levels — can affect the behavior of fish.
NPR (14 Feb)
Reforming the global food system to tackle diabetes and obesity
The role and responsibilities of the private sector in global health and development has evolved in recent decades. The view that the only responsibility of business is to return a profit to stakeholders is being weakened by the dawn of corporate shared value and a mushrooming of public-private partnerships. Both of which have resulted in the leveraging of resources and expertise of the private sector to bear on many contemporary global health challenges.
The Guardian (14 Feb)
Unborn babies get taste for fruit and vegetables from their mothers
Babies are more accepting of foods their mothers eat often while pregnant. A new study indicates they get also get a taste for novel foods through breast milk. The research was carried out by the Monell Centre in Philadelphia.
Daily Mail online (14 Feb)
Comment: Why Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Fish Fight is still necessary
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Channel 4 TV show Fish Fight has begun a new series. In a stroke of good timing, the European parliament voted last week to phase out the wasteful discarding of fish at sea, the main target of the first series. So you could be forgiven for wondering what there is left to fight for. A great deal, it turns out.
The Guardian (15 Feb)
Brian May from Queen unveils Dorset woodland vision
Queen guitarist Brian May has talked about his vision to turn a plot of Dorset farmland into a woodland wildlife sanctuary. His team will be planting 100,000 trees on 155 acres (62 hectares) of land near Bere Regis village in September. He had two "packed" meetings with about 150 villagers to discuss his plans.
BBC News (12 Feb)
Farming leaders call for tougher red meat chain regulation
Industry chiefs are calling for a tighter grip on processors and retailers after the horse meat fiasco laid bare the ‘gaping hole’ of regulation between the farm gate and the supermarket shelf.
Farmers Guardian (15 Feb)
Syngenta: EFSA pesticide report on bees is flawed
Syngenta has requested the European Commission retract its proposal to restrict the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. The Swiss agrichemical company made the request after claiming that the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) report on the risks to bees from neonicotinoid use was "fundamentally flawed".
Farmers Weekly (15 Feb)
Find out about Keep Britain Buzzing
Charlotte Smith hears that we could be eating a cocktail of drugs as illegal horsemeat makes its way into food. Professor Josh Slater from the Royal Veterinary College tells Charlotte about the anti-bacterial drugs which could be in illegal horsemeat.
BBC Radio 4 (15 Feb)
And Finally… In Pictures: Public urged to take part in National Nest Box Week
BBC (14 Feb)