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The FDA WikiLeaks Itself There are a lot of lessons in this New York Times story about ill-starred FDA spying on its own whistleblowing employees. The simplest one is: don’t conduct a spurious, invasive leak investigation and then post the whole thing on the Internet. Because that appears to be exactly what led to the Times’s expose of the details of the FDA’s fishing expedition: The documents captured in the surveillance effort — including confidential letters to at least a half-dozen Congressional offices and oversight committees, drafts of legal filings and grievances, and personal e-mails — were posted on a public Web site, apparently by mistake, by a private document-handling contractor that works for the F.D.A. The New York Times reviewed the records and their day-by-day, sometimes hour-by-hour accounting of the scientists’ communications. …The posting of the documents was discovered inadvertently by one of the researchers whose e-mails were monitored. The FDA WikiLeaks Itself
US drought threatens to fuel food inflation
Massive corporate welfare for big ag means taxpayer are buying low-quality food - Minneapolis Top News It was a small news item buried inside the Minneapolis StarTribune, but it was depressing: A Twin Cities farmer’s market was closing down due to lack of interest, and lack of sales of locally grown fresh produce. This news item caught my attention because Congress is currently putting the finishing touches on the new 5-Year Farm Bill, which most likely will be passed this year. This latest version is again loaded with massive corporate welfare for big agriculture and subsidies for growing the usual – wheat, corn and sugar. These commodities -- while not inherently lacking in good nutrition (except for the worthless sugar beets) -- tend to end up being highly processed into low-value foods, and this in turn contributes to the ever spreading fat arse of America’s obesity epidemic. Massive corporate welfare for big ag means taxpayer are buying low-quality food - Minneapolis Top News
Policy News, Agriculture News | Over the objections of southern Senators and one from New York, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved a five-year farm bill Thursday that now heads for a vote on the Senate floor. The bill, called the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, received strong bipartisan support in a 12-4 vote (or 16-5, including proxy votes). Three southern Republicans said they could not support it because they view its programs for rice, cotton and peanuts as unfair, and Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said she opposed cuts to food stamp programs that would affect hundreds of thousands of low income residents of her state. “This Committee is unique. Our hearing room doesn’t have a raised dais; instead we sit together around a table, not unlike the tables that America’s farmers sit around after a long day’s work," said Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) at the start of the meeting to mark up a bill. "The work we do around this table is hard. Policy News, Agriculture News |
Rep. Sam Farr wins organic award | Politics Blog The Organic Trade Association on Wednesday gave Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, its public service award for his “unwavering support and advocacy for organic farmers,” most powerfully through his post as top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee’s agriculture panel. The trade group said the organic market topped $31.5 billion last year, growing 9.5 percent last year, but still only 4.2 percent of U.S. food sales. From there Farr, a former Peace Corps volunteer, has provided a counterweight to the government’s heavy focus on corn, soybeans, cotton and other commodity crops, by pushing funding for the National Organic Program, which certifies organic products, and critically, funding for research and data collection on organic farms and markets. Rep. Sam Farr wins organic award | Politics Blog
The Fight Over Food Stamps and Farm Subsidies (This is the second in a two-part report analyzing the Senate House farm bills. Read the first part here.) Congress appears poised to begin overhauling long-standing agricultural price support programs, including the elimination of unconditional subsidies to farmers, in an effort to help lower their overall costs and eliminate some of the inequities in the program. The government currently hands out between $15 billion and $20 billion a year in aggie subsidies, depending on the prices of crops and the level of disaster payments. The Fight Over Food Stamps and Farm Subsidies
Earth Day: Push for local agriculture, products is growing Earth Day: Push for local agriculture, products is growing View full sizeSterman Masser Potato Farms is a family-owned potato farming company located in Sacramento, PA who provide potatoes to many local restaurants in the midstate, like, Shugar's Philly Deli in Lemoyne. CHRISTINE BAKER, The Patriot-News Buy local means many things to many people. It is the heirloom tomato grown on a Perry County farm, sliced and paired with locally made buffalo mozzarella cheese on a caprese salad. It is the coffee, roasted by hand and brewed from bean to cup at the corner coffee shop.
Feed Everyone

Midwest's Tart Cherry Crop Destroyed By Weather Midwest's Tart Cherry Crop Destroyed By Weather SISTER BAY, Wis. (AP) — Walk into Cherry Republic's store in the heart of the nation's biggest tart cherry producing region, and you could end up with jam or salsa with fruit that had to be imported from Poland. Cherry Republic can't get enough tart cherries from its local orchards because 97 percent of Michigan's crop was destroyed this year by a freak weather pattern. An unseasonably warm March that caused trees to bud was followed by an April freeze that killed the blossoms. Trees in New York and Wisconsin, which have smaller but still significant tart cherry harvests, suffered the same weather damage. Prices usually skyrocket when farmers take that kind of a loss, or in severe cases consumers might just have to give up on a fruit for a season.
Monsanto's seedy legacy
Farmland Grab

Monsanto likes to think of itself as a sustainable agriculture company. Prominently featured on their website beneath a video that proclaims, “we’re all in this together,” is their slogan, “producing more, conserving more, improving lives.” In their 2010 Sustainability Report, they proudly trumpet their commitment to improving crop yields in the face of an ever-increasing human population, which they put forth as the very essence of sustainability. Clearly, they are very single-mindedly committed to this goal, perhaps in what might be considered an ends-justify-the means manner. In truth, they are pursuing a sustainable objective in an unsustainable fashion. Monsanto Fails UCS Test for Sustainable Agriculture Monsanto Fails UCS Test for Sustainable Agriculture
Energy-intensive industrial farming practices that rely on toxic chemicals and genetically engineered crops are not just undermining public health--they're destroying the planet. Here's how: #1 Generating Massive Greenhouse Gas Pollution (CO2, Methane, Nitrous Oxide) and Global Warming; While Promoting False Solutions Such as Industrial Biofuels, So-Called Drought-Resistant Crops, and Genetically Engineered Trees Evaluations of corn grown for ethanol show that whatever reduction in emissions you get from burning corn instead of oil in the gas tank is more than offset by the fact that producing biofuel from corn requires as much fuel as it could replace. Corn production, like the production of all of the crops (corn, cotton, canola, soy, and now, sugar beets and alfalfa) that Monsanto has so successfully industrialized through its business model of selling patented GMO seeds to increase the use of its pesticides, is very fossil fuel intensive. Ten Ways Monsanto and Big Ag Are Trying to Kill You - And the Planet Ten Ways Monsanto and Big Ag Are Trying to Kill You - And the Planet
Scientists link mass death of British bees to farm pesticides Scientists link mass death of British bees to farm pesticides Custom byline text: eXCLUSIVE by Rob Edwards Environment Editor The authoritative, peer-reviewed research undermines the pesticide industry's long-repeated arguments that bees are not being harmed, and piles pressure on UK and US authorities to follow other countries by introducing bans on the chemicals. Pesticide companies have been trying to protect their multi-billion pound businesses by lobbying internationally against bans on neonicotinoids, a group of toxic chemicals designed to paralyse insects by attacking their nervous systems.

Lake Assale camel caravans and salt works - photos
Florida's Ag Gag Bill Reintroduced Earlier this year a bill was introduced in Florida by Senator Jim Norman that would have made it a felony to take photos or video of a farm or agriculture operation. The “Ag Gag” bill was openly supported by Big Ag and directed at both whistle-blowers who go undercover to document the cruelty that animals on farms suffer, as well as anyone who wants to just snap a shot while standing on the side of the road. Those documenting what they saw would have been left facing criminal charges, while abusers would be left unaccountable. Fortunately, the bill never came to a vote and similar measures failed in Minnesota, Iowa and New York.
Farming Gardening Produce Market

Food Market

How much regulation do we need on food safety? | FOOD Magazine All this discussion about food labelling, obesity, additives, good fats versus bad fats, good carbs versus bad carbs is enough to make anyone’s head spin. We’re getting cancer from eating certain foods. We’re avoiding cancer by eating others. You need superfoods!
Streit über Landverkäufe eskaliert: Polizei riegelt chinesisches Fischerdorf ab
Außen "Bio", drinnen ganz normale Ware: Ein mutmaßlicher Großbetrug mit gefälschten Öko-Lebensmitteln in Italien hat auch die deutschen Behörden alarmiert. Es seien Lieferlisten angefordert worden, um Daten an die Bundesländer und die dortigen Kontrollstellen weiterleiten zu können. Das teilte das Verbraucherministerium in Berlin am Mittwoch mit. Zuvor hatte die Polizei in der norditalienischen Stadt Verona 2500 Tonnen vermutlich falsch deklarierte Öko-Waren wie Mehl und Obst beschlagnahmt. Eine Fälscherbande soll mit dem Schwindel Millionenumsätze gemacht haben. Öko-Schwindel in Italien: Deutschland sucht nach gefälschten Bio-Produkten
India toxic alcohol kills 143 in West Bengal 15 December 2011Last updated at 15:09 Residents of 12 villages fell ill after consuming toxic alcohol At least 143 people are now known to have died after consuming toxic alcohol in India's West Bengal state.
People's Court Puts Agrochemical Giants on Trial Shruthi’s hands have only four digits, oddly splayed and disfigured. Her deformed right lower limb has been amputated. Her mother, who died of cancer six years ago, is one of an estimated 4,000 people killed by endosulfan sprayed on the cashew plantations around her village in Kerala, India. Around the world, pesticides kill an estimated 355,000 people every year. Many more suffer debilitating illnesses, bear children with shocking disabilities, and ingest poisons through food and water, including the breast milk of nursing mothers. In early December, the Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) Session on Agrochemical Transnational Corporations (TCNs) convened in Bangalore, India to hear testimony against the six companies most responsible for ongoing, massive violations of people’s rights to life, livelihood and health.
Kucinich bill aims to protect food supply from Monsanto, GMOs - National Democrat
Farm Bill Conservation Programs Threatened By Anticipated Budget Cuts
Food Justice Wins We Can Be Thankful for This Year
Canada pork producers fear loss of Korea trade | Agricultural Commodities
The Secret Farm Bill
Secret Farm Bill Goes from Bad to Medieval
Secrecy is not the way to craft a new federal farm bill
Farm bill: Corn Belt vs. Great Plains Dems - David Rogers
24 Hours to Kill the "Secret Farm Bill"
Turkey-abstinence on Thanksgiving a humane way to spend the holiday | Golden Gate Xpress
Colony collapse disorder « My Blog
State department pimping for Monsanto - why?
Maria Russo: Monsanto's Seed: How One Company is Tarnishing Our Food Supply
A Call to Agricultural Action
Maine farmer heads group challenging genetics giant
Monsanto Agent Orange Past Continues to Haunt the Company
Monsanto reaffirms 2012 targets
French government outlaws vegetarian meals from schools
Michelin Guide to UK Pub Food; Working at Groupon - Listage
Apple Point of Sale System Combined with iPad Menu Equals Awesomeness | | Digital Menu Network | iPad Menus | Digital Menu Displays | Digital Menu Software

Improving the Picture for Independent Farmers
Researchers identify enzyme that holds key to living longer through calorie restriction