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Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GroundTruth Blog

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Feb 09, 2011
In a new report, the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stressed the need to transform agriculture and adopt “climate-smart” practices. No news there. The real surprise is what "climate-smart" ag does not mean for FAO. With all the relentless hype from Monsanto & Co. around ag biotech's supposed role in feeding the world and providing the answer to climate change, I expected to find plugs for increasing investments in “biotechnology” or “GMOs” sprinkled throughout the entire report. I was wrong. The report simply... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Feb 09, 2011
On Feb. 4, USDA announced a “partial deregulation” of Monsanto’s genetically engineered sugar beets to allow planting in 2011. The move came despite a December federal court decision in which the judge ordered that GE beets already planted to produce seed “shall be removed from the ground”. USDA has defied the court on behalf of Monsanto before. “Roundup Ready” sugar beets — designed to tolerate heavy applications of Monsanto’s infamous herbicide — comprise “a whopping 95% of the sugar beets sold in the U.S. and about... Read More
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Karl Tupper
Feb 03, 2011
When DDT was introduced more than 60 years ago, it initially scored victory after victory in the fight against malaria — nearly eliminating the deadly disease in many areas. But these wins were mostly short-lived, as mosquitoes rapidly developed resistance to the chemical. Today, its effectiveness is a fraction of what it once was; meanwhile an arsenal of better and safer anti-malaria interventions has been developed, including effective chemical-free strategies. And so, under the auspices of the Stockholm Convention, the nations of the world have committed to phasing out DDT,... Read More
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Margaret Reeves
Feb 03, 2011
Two successful organic producers were among those recently recognized for pest control innovation by California officials. The state's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced recipients of its Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Innovator Awards last month, and among the awardees were Dixon Ridge Farms and Bonterra (Fetzer) Vineyards. I was delighted to see the two award winners featured again last week at the annual EcoFarm conference, a three-day gathering of thousands of organic growers, input providers, processors, distributors, academics, government agencies, non-profit... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Feb 02, 2011
As EPA hosted its second annual National Bed Bug Summit in Washington, D.C. this week, evidence continues to mount that bed bugs are increasingly immune to the pesticides being used to control them. Bed bugs are providing a textbook example of how pests become resistant to pesticides. According to researchers at Ohio State University, when pesticides are applied to bed bug colonies, inevitably a small population survives and develops resistance to the chemical used. As these survivors reproduce, they pass on that resistance to their offspring, creating new generations of pesticide-... Read More
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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Feb 02, 2011
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At the annual World Economic Forum this past weekend in Davos, Switzerland, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Director Rajiv Shah stood beside CEOs from Monsanto and other infamous giant corporations, and announced U.S. support for a “New Vision for Agriculture.”  Yes, you should be worried. Claiming that “large-scale private sector partnerships [can] achieve significant impact on global hunger and nutrition,” Shah introduced the initiative’s 17 agribusiness “champions”: Archer Daniels Midland, BASF, Bunge Limited,... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jan 31, 2011
Endosulfan is in the news in India again, with new evidence of the insecticide's impact on children and bees. On January 23, a report covered in The Hindu found that endosulfan is linked to declining honeybee populations in Idukki and Kasaragod districts in India. Scientists observed that the day following an endosulfan spray, local honeybees showed symptoms of poisoning and died. Corresponding declines in fruit yields were also reported where endosulfan had been sprayed, possibly reflecting the loss of the pollinators. The report also found that in the community of Koragas,... Read More
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Pesticide Actio...
Jan 31, 2011
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Taxpayers care how federal money is spent on agriculture. We want the government to spend more to help farmers conserve natural resources, produce safe food and develop their communities — and less on direct commodity payments and price supports. This according to a study  out of Oklahoma State University just released by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC).  The Farm Bill largely determines how tax dollars are spent in agriculture, and the most recent version upped support for programs like the Organic Initiative that help farmers conserve natural... Read More
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