Organics in the News

Showing 111-120 of 619

Eco-farming could double food output of poor countries, says UN
www.guardian.co.uk work
March 09, 2011

"Agriculture is at a crossroads," says the study by Olivier de Schutter, the UN special reporter on the right to food, in a drive to depress record food prices and avoid the costly oil-dependent model of industrial farming.

So far, eco-farming projects in 57 nations demonstrated average crop yield gains of 80 per cent by tapping natural methods for enhancing soil and protecting against pests, it says.

Recent projects in 20 African countries resulted in a doubling of crop yields within three to 10 years. Those lessons could be widely mimicked elsewhere, it adds.

Dairy farm feels winds of change — and, this time, they'll smell good
theworldlink.com work
March 07, 2011

Turns out, the secret ingredient of Pete and Kelly Mahaffy's fertile 200-acre dairy farm - a member of the Organic Valley co-op - is waste product from seafood processors.
Six to eight truck loads a day deliver shells and shrimp husks to their dairy farm on the Coos River during crab season's peak.
It's a nutrient-rich, slowly decomposing fertilizer the couple spreads thinly over pastures during the rainy months.

Time to end the insane practice of lacing chicken feed with arsenic
grist.org work
March 03, 2011

As a jaded observer of the meat industry, even I'm flummoxed by this fact: It's standard practice on factory chicken farms to dose those unfortunate birds with arsenic. The idea is that it makes them grow faster -- fast growth being the supreme goal of factory animal farming -- and helps control a common intestinal disease called coccidiosis.

Today's Food System: All Drugged Up
Huffington Post work
March 02, 2011

The next time you're feeling sick, think twice before going to your doctor for answers. Look down at your plate, instead.

Hidden in your hamburger or smoked ham may be something you didn't want or expect on the menu -- antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Instead of protecting you from infectious diseases, antibiotics might simply be making you sick.

A Growing Debate: How To Define 'Organic' Food
www.vpr.net work
March 02, 2011

"There's reality and there's perception," says George Siemon, CEO of Organic Valley, one of the country's biggest organic food companies. "And the perception is, consumers are saying they don't want any pollution in organic products. And whether that's realistic or not is another matter. But for sure, consumer perception is a real concern." Siemon cited a survey in which 77 percent of organics consumers said they would stop buying organic food if it contained GMOs.

Flies and cockroaches carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria from factory farms, study finds
grist.org work
February 25, 2011

What sort of antibiotic-resistant pathogens are growing on factory farms, along with all the cheap pork chops and chicken wings? And what level of threat do they pose to our health?

Well, we know that in total, factory-farm animals consume a jaw-dropping four times as many antibiotics as do people in the United States, thanks to diligent reporting by Maryn McKenna and Ralph Loglisci and work by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.)....And now we know of yet another means by which antibiotic-resistant nasties can make their way from meat factories into the broader community: through the cockroaches and flies drawn to the titanic amounts of manure produced on factory farms.

Researcher: Roundup or Roundup-Ready Crops May Be Causing Animal Miscarriages and Infertility
farmandranchfreedom.org work
February 24, 2011

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

A team of senior plant and animal scientists have recently brought to my attention the discovery of an electron microscopic pathogen that appears to significantly impact the health of plants, animals, and probably human beings. Based on a review of the data, it is widespread, very serious, and is in much higher concentrations in Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans and corn—suggesting a link with the RR gene or more likely the presence of Roundup. This organism appears NEW to science!

Monsanto Continues to Block Independent Analysis of GM Crop Safety
www.latimes.com work
February 16, 2011

Agricultural companies defend their stonewalling by saying that unrestricted research could make them vulnerable to lawsuits if an experiment somehow leads to harm, or that it could give competitors unfair insight into their products. But it's likely that the companies fear something else too: An experiment could reveal that a genetically engineered product is hazardous or doesn't perform as well as promised.

Whatever the reasons, the results are clear: Public sector research has been blocked. In 2009, 26 university entomologists — bug scientists — wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency protesting restricted access to seeds. The letter went public, but not most of the writers' identities. They were afraid of retaliation from the companies that might further hamper their research.

Why Aren’t G.M.O. Foods Labeled?
www.nytimes.com work
February 16, 2011

Even more than questionable approvals, it’s the unwillingness to label these products as such — even the G.E. salmon will be sold without distinction — that is demeaning and undemocratic, and the real reason is clear: producers and producer-friendly agencies correctly suspect that consumers will steer clear of G.E. products if they can identify them. Which may make them unprofitable. Where is the free market when we need it?
A majority of our food already contains G.M.O.’s, and there’s little reason to think more isn’t on the way. It seems our “regulators” are using us and the environment as guinea pigs, rather than demanding conclusive tests. And without labeling, we have no say in the matter whatsoever.

New tests reveal many pesticides block male hormones
www.environmentalhealthnews.org work
February 15, 2011

Many agricultural pesticides – including some previously untested and commonly found in food – disrupt male hormones, according to new tests conducted by British scientists. The researchers strongly recommended that all pesticides in use today be screened to check if they block testosterone, which is critical to men’s and boys’ reproductive health. Thirty out of 37 pesticides tested by the University of London altered male hormones, including 16 that had no known hormonal activity until now. Most are fungicides applied to fruit and vegetable crops, including strawberries and lettuce. “This study indicates that, not surprisingly, there are many other endocrine disruptors that we have not yet identified or know very little about,” said Emily Barrett, a University of Rochester scientist who was not involved in the study. The findings come as the EPA faces opposition from the pesticide industry after expanding its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program, which requires testing of about 200 chemicals found in food and drinking water to see if they interfere with estrogen, androgens or thyroid hormones.

Showing 111-120 of 619

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