Media/News Archive

The Dark Side of Urban Farming

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

TakePart
by Katharine Gammon

Source: Eadaoin Flynn

Your organic veggies could be growing in contaminated soil. Here’s how to keep homegrown food safe.

Growing food at home is good for your health and the planet, but your vegetables could be sucking up toxins as well as sunshine.

So, Why Should You Care? All around the world, more people are getting their hands dirty and planting crops to harvest at home. More than a third of all households in America are growing food at home or in community gardens—a 17 percent jump in five years, according to the National Gardening Association. About 15 percent of the world’s food is produced in urban areas, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

All of this urban farming raises questions about the safety of crops grown in cities, where soil may be contaminated with lead, arsenic, hydrocarbons, and other toxins. Read Full Article »

How Monsanto Wrote and Broke Laws to Enter India

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Seed Freedom
by Dr. Vandana Shiva

Source: World Bank

Citizens of the United States are being denied the right to know what they are feeding their families. Despite the fact that 90% of American citizens want GMO labelling on their food, big business is doing everything it can to prevent people from accessing their rights. Representative Pompeo’s bill, popularly known as the DARK Act (Denying Americans the Right to Know), has been written almost entirely by the biotech industry lobby. While American citizens are advocating for their rights to knowledge and healthy, affordable food, Monsanto’s legal team is busy on every legislative level trying to prevent this from happening.

Monsanto’s subversion of democratic legal processes is not new. In fact, it is their modus operandi, be it the subversion of LA’s decision to be GMO free by amending the California Seed Law—equating corporations with persons, and making seed libraries and exchange of seed beyond 3 miles illegal— or suing Maui County for passing a law banning GMOs.

Decades before there was a “debate” over GMOs and Monsanto’s PR and law firms became the busiest of bees, India was introduced to this corrupting, corporate giant that had no respect for the laws of the land. When this massive company did speak of laws, these laws had been framed, essentially, by their own lawyers.

Today, Indian cotton farmers are facing a genocide that has resulted in the death of at least 300,000 of their brothers and sisters between 1995 and 2013, averaging 14,462 per year (1995-2000) and 16,743 per year (2001-2011). Read Full Article »

Addicted to Antibiotics, Chile’s Salmon Flops at Costco, Grocers

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Reuters
by Anthony Esposito

Source: Juan José Richards Echeverría

Chile’s salmon farmers are using record levels of antibiotics to treat a virulent and pervasive bacteria, driving away some U.S. retailers including Costco Wholesale Corp, which is turning to antibiotic-free Norwegian salmon.

The coastal waters of Chile, the world’s second-largest producer of salmon, are awash with a bacteria known as SRS, or Piscirickettsiosis. The bacteria causes lesions and haemorrhaging in infected fish, and swells their kidneys and spleens, eventually killing them.

Unable to develop an effective vaccine, Chilean farmers have been forced to increase antibiotic use. In 2014, the industry produced around 895,000 tonnes of fish and used 563,200 kilograms (1.2 million pounds) of antibiotics, according to government and industry data. Antibiotic use had risen 25 percent from 2013. Read Full Article »

New Research On Organic Produce’s Health Benefits

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Rodale’s Organic Life
by Eesther Crain

Share this with friends and family that are still on the fence.

Source: Natalie Maynor

Ever since the USDA Organic label began showing up on some food labels in the early 2000s, a debate has raged over whether crops grown without chemical additives and fertilizers rack up more nutrition than their conventional counterparts. Now, a new review of 343 previous studies throws its support behind the pro-organic side. Researchers writing in the British Journal of Nutrition found that organic crops and products made with them (such as cereal) pack 17 percent more antioxidants on average—with levels of some subtypes of antioxidants as much as 69 percent higher. The research team also reported four times more pesticide residue on non-organic foods, as well as significantly lower amounts of some toxic metals in the organic-grown items. Read Full Article »

Battle Over GMO Labeling Shifts to Senate

Friday, July 24th, 2015

AgriPulse
by Philip Brasher

Kansas GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo
Source: Mark Taylor

The food industry’s campaign to stop states from requiring labels on genetically engineered products faces an uncertain future in the Senate following a landmark, bipartisan victory in the House.

With support from 45 Democrats, the House voted 275-150 on Thursday to approve the Safe and Affordable Food Labeling Act (HR 1599), which in addition to preempting state GMO labeling requirements would set up a process for labeling foods as non-biotech. Twelve Republicans opposed the bill.

“We managed to get nearly every Republican and a significant number of Democrats. It puts us on pretty good footing to go over to the Senate,” said Kansas GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo, who introduced the bill and managed it on the House floor. Read Full Article »