From Tom Laskawy, on Grist.org
“Thirty years ago, scientists figured out how to directly modify the genes in our food crops. No more of that inefficient and slow breeding! Farmers would grab plant genes by the
horns nucleotides and bend them to their will!
Now, the preeminent science journal Nature has devoted an entire issue to the question (to paraphrase that legendary IBM ad), where are the magic seeds? We were going to get seeds that would grow faster, yield more, save the environment, and be more nutritious. What we got were seeds for a few commodity crops such as corn, soy, and cotton that made their own pesticide or resisted herbicides, but otherwise provided little, if any, benefit to consumers. Continue reading
Although the hubbub around California’s Proposition 37 to require GMO labeling may have died down, following it’s supposed defeat at the polls, concerns about GMOs have by no means gone away. The latest big story in the march to label GMOs is out of Hawaii, where an initiative to require labeling is being trumpeted, at least in the alternative media. Here’s a report from Anne Sewell on Digital Journal:
Toronto’s First GMO Kids Right To Know Walk, Nov 3 2012 Photos (Photos BY Sam Truax). Click image to see more from this event. Photo via http://www.gmo-news.com
“Honolulu – Hawaii might have cause to celebrate, as lawmakers have passed a new measure in the House Committee on Agriculture, requiring labeling on genetically modified food. But is the final bill everything it was hoped to be? Continue reading
From Barbara Loe Fisher, on Mercola.com
“This month, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) joins with our Health Liberty partners to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the founding of the Health Liberty Coalition by Mercola.com.
For many years, NVIC and the non-profit Consumers for Dental Choice, Organic Consumers Association (OCA), Fluoride Action Network (FAN) and Institute for Responsible Technology have each worked to protect human health through public education and informed choice advocacy.
At the heart of Health Liberty is respect for the informed consent and precautionary principles, which together serve as an ethical foundation for protecting consumer rights and ensuring product safety. Continue reading
From the Commons Online:
“BRATTLEBORO—YOU MIGHT THINK it’s very odd that a cheesemonger would tell you not to buy a cheese, but here I go: if you’re going to shell out the bucks to buy brie, you’re better off spending that money on another variety.
Now, there’s really nothing wrong with brie… if you’re in France. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration’s regulations on dairy products, if a cheese is made of unpasteurized milk, it has to be aged for at least 60 days.
But real brie is made of unpasteurized milk, and it’s aged for just a few weeks. (At 60 days aged, you wouldn’t want it. It’ll have the distinct and powerful aroma and flavor of ammonia, except you can’t wash the floor with it. Don’t bother trying to trim it — just throw it away.) Continue reading
“Montpelier – Rural Vermont has released its 2012 Report on raw milk production and sales. For the third year since the passage of Act 62, which enabled the direct sale of raw milk by farmers to consumers, Rural Vermont has presented an overview of how the law is working for farmers and the economic impact of raw milk sales.
The report was presented to the House Committee on Agriculture on January 24, 2012 and will be presented to the Senate Committee on Agriculture on Friday February 3, 2012. The report is available on the Rural Vermont website http://www.ruralvermont.org or by calling 802-223-7222.
The report is based on the results of surveys conducted by Rural Vermont, which reached 95 of the estimated 150 farms that are producing raw milk and selling it to consumers under the requirements of Act 62. The report provides an overview of how the law has been functioning, summarizes the data collected in the surveys and presents some recommendations for further adjustments to the law and the regulations. Continue reading
From Jane Black in the New York Times:
Steven Hopp began a small farm to help supply his restaurant, the Harvest Table, in Meadowview, Virginia Photo: Shawn Poynter for The New York Times. Click image to go to the NY Times story.
“WHEN Steven Hopp envisioned his restaurant, the Harvest Table, he drew up a list of strict rules. Local farmers would provide the produce, meats and cheeses. Lemons would be banned: after all, why ship something that is mostly water when homegrown lemon thyme might suffice? Coffee and tea would be allowed because they are dried, but they should be organic, fair trade or both.
That philosophy grew out of his own experience. From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Hopp and his wife, the author Barbara Kingsolver, decided to see if their family could rely on the food they grew here in the hills of southwest Virginia. Their 2007 best seller, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life,” a memoir about their experiment, helped introduce Americans to the locavore creed. Continue reading