Organic News 15 April 2016

Organic News 15 April 2016


Huge setback for 'safest ever' pesticide
Glyphosate, the most widely used weedkiller in the world, has come under fire this week as the European Parliament voted to limit its use. Glyphosate was recently determined as a 'probable carcinogen' by the IARC. The vote called to ban it for non-professional uses, in or near public spaces, and limit its 'pre-harvest' application on crops. Although the vote of 374 to 225 is non-binding, it will force an important discussion on the issues raised.
The Ecologist (13 April 2016)
The Soil Association campaigns to keep glyphosate out of the nation's bread


The ethics of eating meat
According to Compassion in World Farming, 70% of the 75 billion animals farmed globally are raised in factory settings. The production of cheap meat from these settings fuels overconsumption and creates a destructive cycle for our health, the environment and animal welfare. Some consumers are shifting their attitude towards meat consumption and are looking to sustainable farms like Daylesford, who have invested £1 million updating their on-site abattoir to make the slaughter process as humane as possible.
The Independent (8 April 2016)
Learn more about the high animal welfare standards that organic meat guarantees

Waitrose 'cow cam' ad campaign uses footage of real farms
Following the recent Tesco 'fake farm' row, Waitrose has launched a series of TV adverts which aim to connect their customers with their suppliers. These 'cow cam' adverts will include footage from a Berkshire dairy farm, as well as from the farms producing their free range eggs, and of the fishermen that stock their fish counters.
The Guardian (12 April 2016)

Cut greenhouse gases by improving soil
Adopting sustainable land use practices and making use of innovative technology could help trap and store carbon in soil. Trees are seen as being good for storing carbon, while soils, which lock away an astounding 2.4 trillion tonnes, are often overlooked. Researchers are now calling for a co-ordinated effort to improve soil storage capabilities.
Farmers Weekly (10 April 2016)
The Soil Association campaigns to save our soils


Global acreage of GM crops declined in 2015 for first time
New figures have found that the acreage of GM crops declined from 449 million acres in 2014 to 444 million acres in 2015. The cause of the decline is linked to low commodity prices, but figures also show the existing market for GM crops is nearly saturated.
New York Times (13 April 2016)
This news comes just a month after BASF's decision to halve their GM research and development budget. Read Soil Association Policy Director Peter Melchett's opinion piece in The Ecologist
The Soil Association campaigns against GM


Gardening therapeutic to those with autism
Can gardening help autism? Guardian blogger and mum to an autistic son, Kim Stoddart, thinks the answer is a resounding 'yes'. For her young son, Arthur, the garden has been a calming sanctuary and sensory room with sounds, smells and wildlife to explore. It has also encouraged him to eat a wide range of fruit and vegetables. Sarah Wilde, head teacher at Limpsfield Grange School in Surrey has introduced outdoor learning for year sevens and believes gardening can build confidence in those with autism that translates into other parts of life. The RHS will be highlighting how to adapt green spaces for those with autism later this year.
The Guardian (7 April 2016)


Giant hotel chain to plant vegetables in bid to reduce food waste
French group, AccorHotels, hopes to reduce food waste by a third before 2020. The group, which serves 150 million meals a year, will weigh and record food that is discarded to determine how much is wasted. They plan to plant vegetable gardens in many of their hotels and slim down menu choices to reduce waste.
The Guardian (13 April 2016)


City investors urge leading pubs and restaurants to reduce use of antibiotics in supply chain
54 major investment companies who have leading pubs and restaurants in their portfolios, such as McDonald's, Domino's Pizza, Burger King & JD Wetherspoon, are urging these chains to stop using meat from animals regularly given antibiotics. According to the WHO, antibiotic resistance is approaching 'crisis point' - the EU estimates it causes 25,000 deaths in Europe each year. Resistance can pass from animals to humans through food.
The Telegraph (11 April 2016)
The Soil Association is a member of the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics, which campaigns to stop the overuse of antibiotics in farming