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Food Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Food Corruption News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important food corruption news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These food corruption news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


Note: This comprehensive list of food corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


This Popular Weed Killer Wreaks Havoc on Animals and Is Probably Hurting Us, Too
2016-06-08, Mother Jones
Posted: 2016-10-31 18:31:57
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/06/epa-report-herbicide-atrazine-...

Atrazine [is] the second most commonly used herbicide in the United States. [It] is mainly used to control weeds in the corn blanketing much of the Midwest. The chemical also routinely turns up in streams and drinking water. And according to a new Environmental Protection Agency preliminary risk assessment, it may be doing serious harm to fish, animals, and amphibians, even at extremely low exposure levels. In the areas where it is most commonly used, mainly the Midwestern corn belt, atrazine turns up in the environment at rates that exceed established levels of concern "by as much as 22, 198, and 62 times for birds, mammals, and fish, respectively," the report concluded. The European Union banned atrazine in 2004, citing its potential to contaminate water and harm ecosystems. And this latest EPA report suggests the US government might also consider reining in use of the chemical. But probably not anytime soon. Back in 2011, the EPA released the final deliberations by a panel of independent scientists it had convened to address the topic. The panel found that atrazine had "suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential" for ovarian cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, hairy-cell leukemia, and thyroid cancer. A recent paper by Texas A&M and Iowa State University researchers looked at research published since 2000 and concluded that "higher concentrations of atrazine in drinking water" have been associated with a variety of birth defects in people.

Note: With US regulators in its pocket, agrichemical giant Syngenta did everything in its power to discredit atrazine researcher Tyrone Hayes after Hayes published science proving that Syngenta's products were poisonous. The New Yorker published a detailed article on Syngenta's smear campaign. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health.


Canadians anxious but ill-informed about genetically engineered food
2016-10-09, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
Posted: 2016-10-16 22:54:32
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-genetically-modified-food-1.3796869

A research report commissioned by Health Canada finds consumers have "strong feelings" about being able to identify genetically modified products when they're shopping, and 78 per cent are calling for clear labelling on packages. "There was a prevailing belief among participants that there should be greater transparency to consumers and, once raised, many questioned why government in particular should be resistant to providing consumers with more information that would help them make more informed decisions," read the findings from The Strategic Counsel. Given the choice, 62 per cent would buy a non-GM food over a GM product out of fears of health hazards or impacts on the environment. According to Health Canada's website, all GM foods are "rigorously assessed" for safety. But labelling is now voluntary. Negative views revealed in the research highlight a "difficult challenge" for Health Canada ahead. Anti-GM advocates have successfully filled the "information void," the report reads. In May, Health Canada provoked controversy when it approved the first genetically modified food animal for sale after "rigorous" scientific reviews. A high number of participants opposed GM food in any form, the report said. Only 26 per cent of respondents indicated they would be comfortable eating foods that have been genetically modified, and just 22 per cent support the development and sale of GM foods in Canada.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMO controversies and food system corruption.


Pesticide manufacturers' own tests reveal serious harm to honeybees
2016-09-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-10-10 15:30:16
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/22/pesticide-manufacturers-o...

Unpublished field trials by pesticide manufacturers show their products cause serious harm to honeybees at high levels, leading to calls from senior scientists for the companies to end the secrecy which cloaks much of their research. The research, conducted by Syngenta and Bayer on their neonicotinoid insecticides, were submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency and obtained by Greenpeace after a freedom of information request. Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticides and there is clear scientific evidence that they harm bees at the levels found in fields. Neonicotinoids were banned from use on flowering crops in the EU in 2013, despite UK opposition. The newly revealed studies show Syngenta’s thiamethoxam and Bayer’s clothianidin seriously harmed colonies at high doses, but did not find significant effects below concentrations of 50 parts per billion (ppb) and 40ppb respectively. Such levels can sometimes be found in fields. However, scientists said all such research should be made public. “It is hard to see why the companies don’t make these kinds of studies available,” said Prof Dave Goulson, at the University of Sussex. “It does seem a little shady to do ... the very studies the companies say are the most important ones - and then not tell people what they find.” Syngenta had told Greenpeace in August that “none of the studies Syngenta has undertaken or commissioned for use by regulatory agencies have shown damages to the health of bee colonies”. Goulson said: “That clearly contradicts their own study.”

Note: CNN News reported in 2010 that Bayer covered up the link between its products and massive bee die-offs. Read more about how these pesticides sicken bees and harm food crops. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Why An Israeli Company Is Sucking Water From The Sky
2016-09-30, Huffington Post
Posted: 2016-10-10 15:13:30
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/water-gen-atmospheric-water-generator_us_...

In the face of a changing climate and the challenges that come with it, companies the world over have been attempting to pull solutions out of thin air - literally. There are firms turning air into fuel and others transforming it into stone. Some are even extracting clean drinking water from it. Israel’s Water-Gen has built devices that create and store drinking water by harvesting condensation from the air. It was among a group of Israeli firms that presented their technological innovations at the United Nations General Assembly last week. “Put simply, [our technology] leverages the same process as a dehumidifier, but instead captures and cleans the moisture,” said Arye Kohavi, Water-Gen’s CEO. “This ‘plug-and-drink’ technology is fully independent of existing water infrastructure. All we require is an electrical outlet and the humidity found in the air.” Water-Gen isn’t the only company to market such a technology, but it says its machines ... are far more energy-efficient than any other water production device. “Our technology takes one-fifth of the amount of energy used by other methods,” Kohavi said. Water-Gen estimates the water its machines generates would cost less than 10 cents per gallon. The smallest device can yield up to 5 gallons daily, while the largest can produce more than 800 gallons a day. “We think it’s possible to bring drinking water to all countries,” Maxim Pasik, Water-Gen’s chairman, [said] in an interview. “What’s important for us is to bring water to the people. This is a basic human right.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Report praises Subway, Chipotle, Panera over antibiotics rules; fails many chains
2016-09-21, Houston Chronicle
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:33:47
http://www.chron.com/business/article/Chain-Reaction-report-Subway-antibiotic...

For the second year in a row, Natural Resources Defense Council and several other organizations rated the 25 largest American fast-food and fast-casual restaurants on their policies toward antibiotics use. While the majority got failing grades in the “Chain Reaction” report, many chain restaurants have made progress, especially when sourcing antibiotic-free chicken - though Chipotle, Panera and now Subway also have strong policies on beef and pork. “We were really encouraged to see that twice as many restaurant chains had adopted new policies,” said Kari Hamerschlag ... one of the report’s authors. An estimated 70 percent of medically important antibiotics are used in livestock production, often given routinely to healthy animals to prevent illness or stimulate growth rather than to cure disease. Between 2009 and 2014, livestock and poultry farms increased their use of these antimicrobial drugs by 23 percent, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA discourages producers from using antibiotics routinely in feed to promote growth, but does not prohibit the practice. McDonald’s grade improved from a C last year to a C-plus because it announced it had fully switched over to antibiotic-free chicken in its U.S. stores. Subway, based in Milford, Conn., which leapt from an "F" grade last year to a "B" grade this year, was listed as the only chain to adopt policies that apply to all types of meat sold. The report said now roughly 67 percent of its chicken is now raised without antibiotics, with turkey to follow.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


UCSF-led study details sugar industry’s attempt to shape science
2016-09-12, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2016-09-25 23:16:31
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/UCSF-led-study-details-sugar-industry-...

UCSF researchers believe they have uncovered a decades-old effort by the sugar industry to exonerate sugar as a dietary culprit for heart disease and shift the blame onto fat and cholesterol. In a paper published in Monday’s JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers reveal a scheme in which the sugar industry’s main trade group paid two Harvard scientists to conduct a literature review in the mid-1960s that challenged emerging evidence linking sugar consumption to risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The Harvard scientists concluded there was “no doubt” that reducing dietary cholesterol and substituting polyunsaturated fat for saturated fat would prevent heart disease. Such recommendations helped persuade Americans to replace their butter with margarine and eat fat-free cookies and other sugar-laden treats. “We have been indoctrinated in this belief that if we don’t eat a low-fat diet, we’ll die of the No. 1 killer disease,” said co-author Laura Schmidt, professor of health policy at UCSF School of Medicine. “Now we’ve learned the sugar industry paid off Harvard to tell us that.” They showed that the Sugar Research Foundation, which is now known as the Sugar Association, paid Fredrick Stare and fellow faculty member D. Mark Hegsted the equivalent of about $50,000 in 2016 dollars to write a heavily critical review of studies that linked sucrose to heart disease. Their reviews were published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in 1967.

Note: For more on how the sugar industry conspired against public health, see this Time magazine article. For even more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


PR Firm Attacks Organic Food, Then Pitches Itself to Organic Companies
2016-03-14, Huffington Post
Posted: 2016-09-19 14:37:26
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stacy-malkan/pr-firm-attacks-organic-food-then-...

News that Ketchum Inc., the public relations firm leading the charge to promote chemical-dependent GMO agriculture, is launching a new “specialty group” to capture a slice of the growing organic food market caught many food industry players by surprise last week. Ketchum’s new branch, called “Cultivate,” is pitching itself to “help purpose-driven brands with a natural, organic, and sustainable focus.” The news comes as Ketchum remains a key player in PR efforts to dampen demand for organic foods, spinning messages that tell consumers organics are over-priced and over-hyped. In 2013, Monsanto hired Ketchum’s parent company, Omnicom, to “reshape” its reputation amid fierce opposition to GMOs, according to the Holmes Report. Ketchum now works closely with Monsanto and the agrichemical industry on its massively funded PR efforts to promote genetically engineered food and crops, stop GMO labeling, downplay concerns about pesticides, counteract consumer advocates and convince consumers that organic food is no different from conventional food. A closer look at Ketchum’s past and current activities turns up more reasons that purpose-driven organic and natural food companies might want to steer clear of Ketchum’s “Cultivate” branch. Emails from the late 1990s indicate that Ketchum was involved in espionage against nonprofit groups that were raising concerns about GMOs. Ketchum ... has worked to undermine consumer advocates and the organic foods industry. It would be unwise for organic companies to hire the PR firm.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Why The FDA Has Never Looked At Some Of The Additives In Our Food
2015-04-04, NPR
Posted: 2016-09-19 14:35:37
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/04/14/399591292/why-the-fda-is-cluel...

Companies have added thousands of ingredients to foods with little to no government oversight. That's thanks to a loophole in a decades-old law that allows them to deem an additive to be "generally recognized as safe" - or GRAS - without the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's blessing, or even its knowledge. The loophole was originally intended to allow manufacturers of common ingredients like vinegar and table salt ... to bypass the FDA's lengthy safety-review process. But over time, companies have found that it's far more efficient to take advantage of the exemption to get their products on shelves quickly. Some of these products contain additives that the FDA has found to pose dangers, [and] companies regularly introduce new additives without ever informing the FDA. The Government Accountability Office ... published a report in 2010 that found that "FDA's oversight process does not help ensure the safety of all new GRAS determinations." And even when a company does go through the FDA review process, safety decisions have been criticized. For example ... lawsuits allege that mycoprotein, a type of fungus used in vegetarian products, has caused consumers to suffer a range of reactions, including nausea and anaphylactic shock. The complaints prompted the Center for Science in the Public Interest to urge the FDA in 2011 to revoke the ingredient's GRAS status. In the past five decades, the number of food additives has skyrocketed — from about 800 to more than 10,000.

Note: Common additives in processed foods have been linked with temper tantrums, poor concentration and hyperactivity, and allergic reactions in children. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


In This Food Desert, Kids Learn to Farm Veggies—Out of the Back of a Truck
2016-09-05, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:21:03
http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/in-this-food-desert-kids-learn-to-far...

“Has anybody heard of rainbow chard?” Larry Moore asked a group of elementary school children. No one answered. “What about this?” Moore asked again, pointing to green leaves emerging from the dirt, their orange base peeking through the brown soil. “That’s a carrot!” several young voices called out. But this carrot wasn’t growing in the ground or a pot. It was growing in the bed of a red pickup truck, a garden on wheels known as the Louisville Truck Farm. “With this, our primary audience is kids, but I’m always in awe at how amazed adults are when they see vegetables growing in the bed of a truck,” said Moore, one of the educators who takes Truck Farm into the community. For the past year, the 1995 Chevrolet truck has traveled more than 450 miles to visit farmers markets, schools, and community events around Louisville, Kentucky, to show that it’s possible to start a garden anywhere, even in an urban environment. In the warmer months, the truck boasts as many as 40 different plants in its bed so that visitors can experience a variety of sights, smells, and tastes. The truck bed ... opens to reveal a plexiglass tailgate, which allows people to get a visual of what’s going on beneath the soil.

Note: Don't miss the pictures of this amazing mobile garden available at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


‘Like it’s been nuked’: Millions of bees dead after South Carolina sprays for Zika mosquitoes
2016-09-01, Washington Post
Posted: 2016-09-05 18:06:08
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/09/01/like-its-been-n...

On Sunday morning, the South Carolina honey bees began to die in massive numbers. The dead worker bees littering the farms suggested ... acute pesticide poisoning. By one estimate, at a single apiary - Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply, in Summerville - 46 hives died on the spot, totaling about 2.5 million bees. Walking through the farm, one Summerville woman wrote ... was “like visiting a cemetery, pure sadness.” To the bee farmers, the reason is ... clear. Their bees had been poisoned by Dorchester’s own insecticide efforts, casualties in the war on disease-carrying mosquitoes. On Sunday morning, parts of Dorchester County were sprayed with Naled, a common insecticide that kills mosquitoes on contact. An airplane dispensed Naled in a fine mist, raining insect death from above. The county says it provided plenty of warning, spreading word about the pesticide plane via a newspaper announcement. Local beekeepers felt differently. “Had I known, I would have been camping on the steps doing whatever I had to do screaming, ‘No you can’t do this,'” beekeeper Juanita Stanley said in an interview. Stanley [said] that the bees are her income, but she is more devastated by the loss of the bees than her honey. The county acknowledged the bee deaths Tuesday. “Dorchester County is aware that some beekeepers in the area that was sprayed on Sunday lost their beehives,” Jason Ward, county administrator, said in a news release. As for the dead bees, as Stanley told the AP, her farm “looks like it’s been nuked.”

Note: The threats posed by the Zika virus appear greatly exaggerated. Explore other zika virus news articles suggesting this is largely fear mongering to bring more profits to corporations involved in creating vaccines and more.


Neonic pesticide link to long-term wild bee decline
2016-08-16, BBC News
Posted: 2016-08-22 12:36:40
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37089385

The large-scale, long-term decline in wild bees across England has been linked to the use of neonicotinoid insecticides by a new study. Over 18 years, researchers analysed bees who forage heavily on oilseed rape, a crop widely treated with "neonics". The scientists attribute half of the total decline in wild bees to the use of these chemicals. Several studies, conducted in the lab and in the field, have identified a negative effect on honey bees and bumble bees from the use of neonics. But few researchers have looked at the long term impacts of these substances. This new paper examined the impacts on populations of 62 species of wild bees across England over the period from 1994-2011. The team ... used distribution data on wild bees, excluding honey and bumblebees collected by the bees, ants and wasps recording scheme. They were able to compare the locations of these bees and their changing populations with growing patterns of oilseed rape across England over 18 years. The amount of this crop being sown has increased significantly over the period of the study, from around 500,000 hectares in 1994 to over 700,000 in 2011. A key innovation was the commercial licensing of neonicotinoid insecticides for the crop in the UK in 2002. Seeds are coated with the chemical and every part of the plant becomes toxic. The European Food Safety Authority is currently conducting a review of the scientific evidence about neonicotinoids. An EU-wide moratorium on their use was implemented in 2013 and is still in place.

Note: Bayer, a major manufacturer of this pesticide, attempted to cover up the connection between its products and the massive die off of bees. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Whipped, kicked, beaten: Illinois workers describe abuse of hogs
2016-08-04, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2016-08-14 22:15:45
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/pork/ct-pig-farms-abuse-met-20160...

Weeks after taking a job as a breeding technician at Eagle Point Farms, an anguished Sharee Santorineos sat down and wrote a three-page whistleblower complaint. "I seen pigs that are pregnant beat with steel bars," said her letter to the Illinois Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare. Santorineos knows about raising animals. At a friend's rural Illinois farmhouse, she grows pigs and poultry that they eventually will have slaughtered. Like other worker allegations about animal abuse in Illinois' 900-plus hog confinement facilities, Santorineos' account went nowhere. The state has regularly discounted or dismissed such worker complaints, a Tribune investigation has found. In the Illinois hog confinements that send 12 million pigs to market annually, the bureau did not find a single animal welfare infraction or violation during the past five years. A lack of inspectors - the bureau has just six - contributes to the scant enforcement, while weak Illinois and federal livestock protection laws do little to safeguard animals. In on-the-record interviews, Santorineos and more than a dozen other Illinois swine-confinement workers told the Tribune they witnessed fellow employees whip pigs with metal rods and gouge them with pliers and ballpoint pens to hurry the animals from one stall to the next or onto the trucks that took them to slaughter. They described employees abusing pigs for amusement and encouraging colleagues to take out their frustrations on the animals.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system.


Insecticide Can Cut Bee Sperm by Nearly 40 Percent, Study Finds
2016-07-28, New York Times
Posted: 2016-07-31 20:07:19
"http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/29/science/neonicotinoid-insecticide-bee-sper...

A new study of male honeybees shows that two insecticides, banned in some European nations but still used in the United States, can significantly reduce the bees’ ability to reproduce. The study ... found that thiamethoxam and clothianidin, two chemicals from the neonicotinoid family of insecticides, reduce living sperm in male honeybees, called drones, by almost 40 percent. The effects of pesticides on honeybee populations are considered one culprit among several factors causing periodic declines. Neonicotinoids have been shown by other studies to harm the health of individual bees and the reproductive ability of female insects. The new study expanded on the dangers of the pesticides for males. The two neonicotinoids used in the study were banned in the European Union in 2013, but are used on an industrial scale in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency ... will release risk assessments for the two chemicals, as well as another neonicotinoid, dinotefuran, in December. A significant amount of the global food supply is made up of plants that require pollinators like bees to survive. Any widespread threat to bees also constitutes a greater ecological threat. Beekeepers in the United States lost 44 percent of their honeybee colonies from April 2015 to April 2016, according to an annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership. The loss was 3.5 percent greater than that found from 2014 to 2015, when beekeepers lost 40.6 percent of colonies.

Note: The findings of US government scientists have been systematically suppressed when they highlight the link between pesticides and mass animal deaths.


North Dakotans soundly reject corporate farming measure
2016-06-15, CNBC/Reuters
Posted: 2016-07-24 22:33:46
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/15/reuters-america-update-1-north-dakotans-soundl...

North Dakotans on Tuesday soundly rejected a law enacted last year that changed decades of family-farming rules in the state by allowing corporations to own and operate dairy and hog farms. Some 75 percent of North Dakotans who went to the ballot box voted to repeal Senate Bill 2351. The law ... exempted dairy and swine production from the state's Depression-era corporate farming prohibition. The North Dakota Farmers Union and other groups that collected signatures to put the referendum on the ballot said family farmers cannot compete with large agricultural firms with no ties to the communities where they operate. Corporate and foreign control of U.S. farmland has been a hot-button issue in several major agricultural states in recent years. State laws prohibiting corporations and foreign entities from owning U.S. farmland complicated a $4.7 billion acquisition in 2013 of U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods by China's Shuanghui International. The deal ultimately closed. This February, a U.S. district judge issued an injunction barring Nebraska officials from enforcing the state's ban on farmland ownership by corporations. North Dakota, with about 740,000 residents, has a heavily agricultural economy. It is one of nine states that have laws limiting corporate farming, according to the National Agricultural Law Center. The North Dakota law says farming or ranching companies must have no more than 15 shareholders or members who must belong to the same family, to a distance of first cousins.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Taking vertical farming to new heights
2016-07-03, Independent Online/Reuters
Posted: 2016-07-17 19:59:20
http://www.iol.co.za/business/international/taking-vertical-farming-to-new-he...

AeroFarms has built what it says is the world's largest indoor vertical farm, without the use of soil or sunlight. Its ambitious goal is to grow high-yielding crops via economical methods to provide locally sourced food to the community, protect the environment and ultimately even combat hunger worldwide. “We use about 95 percent less water to grow the plants, about 50 percent less fertiliser as nutrients and zero pesticides, herbicide, fungicides,” said David Rosenberg, co-founder and chief executive officer of AeroFarms. “We're helping create jobs as well as create a good story to inspire the community and inspire other businesses.” Inside the 2,800 square metre warehouse, farmers tend the short-stemmed plants, which are illuminated by rows of light emitting diode, or LED, lamps and planted in white fabric made from recycled water bottles. Co-founder ... Marc Oshima said that by producing indoors, AeroFarms can grow plants within 12 to 16 days, compared with 30 to 45 days outdoors. A year-round grow cycle protected from the changeable climate means that indoor farms can be 75 times more productive, he said. The company plans to move its operation this year to a new facility in Newark, [New Jersey] with 6,503 square metres of growing space. Most green, leafy plants thrive during the spring and fall in sunnier states such as California and Arizona. Setting up indoor farms in New Jersey eliminates the environmental costs of transporting those crops to consumers in the Northeast.

Note: Watch this inspiring video on vertical farming.


Paying Farmers to Go Organic, Even Before the Crops Come In
2016-07-14, New York Times
Posted: 2016-07-17 19:57:55
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/15/business/paying-farmers-to-go-organic-even-...

Companies can’t get enough organic ingredients to satisfy consumer desire for organic and nongenetically modified foods. The demand for those crops outstrips the supply, leaving farmers like [Wendell] Naraghi racing to convert their land to organic production, an arduous and expensive process. “Customers are asking for it,” said Mr. Naraghi, who is in the process of transitioning 300 of his 3,000 acres of orchards this year. “And we listen to our customers.” The clamor for organic crops is so intense that major food brands, like General Mills, Kellogg and Ardent Mills, are helping to underwrite the switch. General Mills, for instance, recently signed a deal to help convert about 3,000 acres to organic production of alfalfa and other animal feeds. Ardent offers farmers a premium for crops grown on land while a farm transitions to organic. In the most recent government tally, in 2011, organic farmland, including that used for grazing, was less than 1 percent of crop land in the United States. But the consumer demand is accelerating the conversion process. Sales of organic products grew 11 percent last year to $43.3 billion, or roughly four times the growth in sales of food products over all. Sales would have been even higher had supply, particularly in organic dairy and grains, kept up with demand. As much as 20 percent of cropland in America could be organic in the next decade or so, but land suitable for transition is getting harder to come by.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


G.M.O.s in Food? Vermonters Will Know
2016-06-30, New York Times
Posted: 2016-07-11 17:11:57
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/business/gmo-labels-vermont-law.html?_r=0

Nearly all food labels in Vermont are now required to disclose when products include genetically engineered ingredients. The requirement, passed two years ago, became effective on Friday. The rule is the first of its kind in the United States, and although it applies only within the tiny state, it is having national impact. Most major food and beverage companies have already added language to their labels to meet the new rule, rather than deal with the logistical hassle of having separate labels for different states. But not all the same products will definitely be on shelves. Vermont’s law requires the labeling of most packaged grocery products as well as any whole fruits or vegetables produced with genetic engineering. That means virtually all products containing derivatives of crops like corn, soy, canola and sugar from sugar beets will need labels, as most of those crops in the United States are grown from genetically modified seeds. Vermont’s law is careful, however, to exclude cheese, a big business in the state. The law also exempts meat from animals that have eaten feed made from genetically engineered grains. The labeling issue has generated heavy and frantic lobbying by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the trade groups representing major commodity producers of crops like soy and corn, who have wanted a federal law that would prevent mandatory labels.

Note: On July 8, the US Senate passed a bill which allows food companies to continue to avoid clear GMO ingredient labeling. Let's hope it does not pass the full Congress and become a law. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food industry corruption and GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.


How Organic Agriculture Boosts Local Economies
2016-06-20, Alternet
Posted: 2016-07-03 14:23:31
http://www.alternet.org/food/organic-agriculture-boosts-local-economies

New research links county-level economic health to agriculture, and finds that organic food and crop production, along with the business activities accompanying organic agriculture, creates real and long-lasting regional economic opportunities. The recently completed White Paper, U.S. Organic Hotspots and their Benefit to Local Economies ... finds organic hotspots - counties with high levels of organic agricultural activity whose neighboring counties also have high organic activity - boost median household incomes by an average of $2,000 and reduce poverty levels by an average of 1.3 percentage points. It identifies 225 counties across the United States as organic hotspots, then looks at how these organic hotspots impact two key county-level economic indicators: the county poverty rate and median household income. Organic activity was found to have a greater beneficial economic effect than that of general agriculture activity, such as chemically-intensive, conventional agriculture, and even more of a positive impact than some major anti-poverty programs at the county level. Interest in organic at the production level has grown as the demand for organic has risen. Organic food is not only better for the economy, but for human health and the environment. A comprehensive review of 97 published studies comparing the nutritional quality of organic and conventional foods show that organic plant-based foods contain higher levels of eight of 11 nutrients. Organic foods have [also] been shown to reduce dietary pesticide exposure.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Thousands protest against seed giant Monsanto ahead of Bayer merger
2016-05-23, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-06-06 22:57:27
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/thousands-protest-against-evi...

Environmentalists have taken to streets around the world to protest against seed giant Monsanto at the same time as the company is facing a $62 billion takeover by Bayer, the German drugs giant. More than 400 simultaneous demonstrations against genetically modified crops and pesticides were organised around the world this weekend. The protests took place in over 40 countries. They come come as Monsanto faces an unsolicited takeover offer by Bayer, the chemical giant that invented aspirin. The deal could create the world’s biggest supplier of farm chemical and genetically modified seeds. Up to 3,000 protesters, rallied by environmental organisations including Greenpeace and Stop TAFTA, an anti-capitalist group, gathered in Paris, according to Agence France Presse. Protesters voiced their anger against Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup which is classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organisation. In the US, where 90 per cent of corn, soybean and cotton is genetically modified, campaigners promoted the march with a billboard in Times Square, showing a topless model and the slogan: “Keep GMOs out of your genes.” On Monday Bayer made an unsolicited $62 billion all-cash offer to acquire Monsanto. A concentration of corporate power in the agriculture and chemical sector would be bad news for both farmers and consumers. It would accelerate the decrease in crop diversity while limiting consumer choice. Farmers would ... find it harder to choose what they grow and how they grow it.

Note: Bayer's pesticides have been implicated in the collapse of bee populations. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's "RoundUp" pesticide, is now the most heavily-used agricultural chemical ever and probably causes cancer. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.


Entrepreneur Komal Ahmad has a plan – and an app – to end hunger in America
2016-02-09, New York Times
Posted: 2016-05-29 21:12:34
http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/02/09/entrepreneur-komal-ahma...

Komal Ahmad ... is the founder and CEO of Copia, an online platform that connects businesses with leftover food to local organizations that can distribute that food to people in need. While an undergraduate ... Ahmad was walking down the street when she was approached by a homeless man who asked her for money to buy food. Instead of giving him a few bucks, Ahmad decided to take him out to lunch and discovered that he was an Iraq war veteran. “That hit me like a ton of bricks,” she said, noting that she’d just gotten back from summer training for the U.S. Navy. “It was almost like a glimpse of my future. This was a perfectly educated guy, came from a good family. He was just a person who was down on his luck.” Across the street from where Ahmad and the man had eaten lunch, the university’s cafeteria was throwing out thousands of pounds of leftover food. Right then, the dual problems of hunger and food waste struck her. “Those who have and are wasting and those who need and are starving - and they’re both living quite literally right across the street from each other,” she said. “That’s just ridiculous.” Ahmad launched Feeding Forward, a local service that began ... in 2011 and has since grown into the tech startup Copia, which has now distributed some 600,000 pounds of food to 720,000 people in need. As Copia expands, Ahmad said that she hopes her phone app will set the stage for new platforms that can redistribute a wider array of necessities, like medicine and medical supplies.

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