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Photo: Badgers in the wild by Tim Brookes via Flickr.

Badger Trust wins 'right to know' about badger cull development

The Ecologist

1st August 2014

The Government must release key documents about its secret development of England's badger cull with the National Farmers Union. The Upper Tribunal ruled that the public interest would be served by a full disclosure. more...
After the pesticides we spray, who will be left flying? Photo: John Severns via The Conversation.

Pesticide safety research shouldn't be left to the pesticide companies

Christopher N Connolly

30th July 2014

Pesticide companies are responsible for assessing the safety of their products, writes Christopher N Connolly - and this situation cannot continue. The research should be carried out independently, subjected to peer review, and published. more...
About 250 boats took to the Peace River for the 'Paddle for the Peace' event on Saturday 12th July 2014. Photo: Emma Gilchrist.

Canada: saving the Peace Valley

Emma Gilchrist / DeSmog.ca

8th August 2014

Canada's biggest infrastructure project is planned for Peace Valley, BC - a gigantic $7.9 billion dam that would flood 83 kilometres of the Peace River - all to produce electricity that no one needs. But a coalition of farmers, ranchers and First Nations is determined to block it ... more...
A mother badger with three cubs to feed looks for food in garden in rural Dorset. Photo: Lesley Docksey.

Carry on Culling - the fiasco continues

Lesley Docksey

28th July 2014

'We need to look at the best scientific evidence' on badgers and bovine TB, says Environment Secretary Liz Truss. But as Lesley Docksey writes, the 'best scientific evidence' appears to mean only that which supports the cull - and there's precious little of it! more...
These organic courgettes at Sandy Lane Farm in Oxfordshire are good for soil, water, wildlife - and you! Photo: Sandy Lane farm.

Organic farming boosts environment and nutrition

Pat Thomas

1st August 2014

How we farm matters, writes Pat Thomas - not just for water, insects, birds and the wider environment, which benefit from organic farming, but also the nutritional value of our food. It's time to value the quality of what we eat, instead of prizing quantity above all. more...
Children at play, Juthour.

The Green fight to save Palestine's land

Mashjar Juthour

4th August 2014

An ecological project has taken root on an abandoned olive grove outside Ramallah. As well as restoring the land itself, its deeper aim is to nurture the ancient links between the Palestinian people and nature, and rebuild a culture of steadfastness in the soil of their native country. more...
Bread, peace and work! A 'speaking wall' in Marinaleda. Photo: Comisión de Audiovisuales Acampada Zaragoza via Flickr.

Catch your dreams - utopia is possible!

Liam Barrington-Bush & Jen Wilton

26th July 2014

Amid Spain's general depression, Marinaleda - an Andalucian town sometimes dubbed the 'communist utopia' - is bucking the moribund trend with a heady mixture of direct action, community-level democracy, cooperation and mutual aid. more...
Organic outdoor pigs raised at Eastbrook Farm in Wiltshire. Photo: helenbrowningsorganic.co.uk/

Taking the 'Pig Pledge' for happy, healthy, outdoor farming

Alastair Kenneil

4th August 2014

The factory farming of pigs is organised animal abuse, writes Alastair Kenneil, and it imperils the environment and human health. But in the UK we have the choice to buy meat from pigs raised humanely under the open sky. Will you take the Pig Pledge today? more...
Cattle packed in as far as the eye can see at the Harris Ranch feedlot in California. Photo: Farm Sanctuary via Flickr.

The true cost of your beefburger is much worse than you know

Gidon Eshel

22nd July 2014

US beef carries a heavy environmental cost in water, land, emissions. But few of us know quite how damaging beef is, writes Gidon Eshel, nor that it is more than five times worse than pork, poultry, eggs or cheese. Isn't it time we did something about it? more...
The social structure of badger families is perturbed by the loss of a single member, and this can cause the spread of any TB they may be harbouring. Photo: Tim Brookes via Flickr.

Badger Trust's High Court cull challenge

The Ecologist

21st July 2014

The Badger Trust will challenge the trial badger culls in the High Court next month, claiming that Environment Secretary Liz Truss and Natural England are acting unlawfully in failing to appoint an expert panel to oversee the experiment. more...
As a boy, the author pulls a big's tail on the family farm - around the time that Parliament, in 1953, allowed farmers to add antibiotics to animal feed.

Antibiotics saved me - now help me save them

Richard Young / Sustainable Food Trust

24th July 2014

As a youngster on a small farm, antibiotics saved Richard Young's life after a scratch on barbed wire led to septicemia. Now, he's campaigning to stop the routine, mass use of antibiotics on intensive farms, so that they can carry on saving human lives for many years to come ... more...
Deyeatee and Comfort, JogBahn Clan women leaders, reading the petition. Photo: Jason Taylor for Friends of the Earth, 2014.

Liberia - communities join to fight the palm oil land grab

Jacinta Fay & Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor

18th July 2014

Liberia's Jogbahn Clan is at the forefront of efforts to resist the grab of Indigenous Peoples' land and forests for palm oil plantations. But according to the country's President, they are only 'harrassing and extorting' international investors. more...

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Liz Truss threatens a badger with a garden fork at the Family Action's Escape Allotment in Swaffham. Photo: Matthew Usher / edp24.co.uk/

Truss - the badgers must die!

The Ecologist

17th July 2014

The new Environment Secretary Liz Truss flunked her first 'Green test' today as she told Parliament that the badger cull goes on. We run this excerpt from the Parliamentary record in which she states 'We are progressing with our programme!' more...
Barn swallow chicks (Hirundo rustica) at Arrábida (Quinta do Camalhão), Setúbal, Portugal. This insectivorous species is among those impacted by imidacloprid. Photo: Jose Sousa via Flickr.

It's not just the bees! 'Neonic' pesticides linked to bird declines

Helen Thompson

17th July 2014

A study published today in Nature shows a strong correlation between concentrations of a popular neonicotinoid pesticide in water, and bird declines, writes Helen Thompson. Regulators are under pressure to tighten up, but the industry still claims there's 'no substantiated evidence'. more...
A Palestinian woman hugs an olive tree to protect it from destruction by the Israeli army. Photo: via Frank M. Rafik / Flickr.

Bethlehem: 'No matter how many olive trees they destroy, will will plant more!'

Megan Perry / Sustainable Food Trust

18th July 2014

Since 1967, Israeli soldiers and 'settlers' in occupied Palestine have destroyed 800,000 olive trees in an attempt to force Palestinian farmers from their land, writes Megan Perry. 'Our response to this injustice will never be with violence, and we will never give up and leave.' more...
Colorful Heirloom Potatoes - 'Carola', 'All Red', 'All Blue', and 'Purple Viking' - collection  from Seed Savers. Photo: Susy Morris via Flickr.

Building an International Seed Savers Exchange

Andrew Kimbrell / Center for Food Safety

19th July 2014

Recent decades have seen a hardening global clampdown on the rights of farmers to use, save, develop, share, swap and distribute the seeds that produce the food we all eat, writes Andrew Kimbrell - and which constitute an essential common heritage of mankind. Here's his plan to fight back against the seed monopolists ... more...
Zac Goldsmith opens the new milking parlour at Pierrepont Farm in Frensham, Surrey.

Antibiotics: British lives must come before factory farm profits

Zac Goldsmith

24th July 2014

The UK's massive use of antibiotics on farms is breeding lethal drug resistance into bacteria, writes Zac Goldsmith. Although we use five times more antibiotics per animal than Scandinavian countries, Cameron is mysteriously reluctant to clamp down on abuses. more...
Vandana Shiva leads a protest in India against Monsanto's GM seeds. Now she's on the warpath against Avaaz. Photo: Daniel Voglesong via Flickr.

Avaaz's global 'ebay of seeds' - how did they get it so wrong?

Julian Rose

16th July 2014

Already 56,000 people have pledged to support a global 'internet seed swap' initiative promoted by Avaaz, writes Julian Rose. Trouble is, the plans are deeply flawed, and have been developed without consultation with major seed saving groups worldwide. more...
Owen Paterson MP with Joe & Sephs Gourmet Popcorn. The 'Mad Dog' sign refers to a brand of lemonade. Photo: UKTI via Flickr.

Owen Paterson sacked: the end of 'badger bashing'?

Lesley Docksey

15th July 2014

Owen Paterson's departure from Government could see the end of the hated badger culls and a wider return to environmental sanity, writes Lesley Docksey. Given his disbelief in climate change and his arrogant disregard of science, it's not a moment too soon! more...
A tobacco farmer in Marondera District, Zimbabwe. Photo: Zimbabwe Ministry of Agriculture.

Tobacco - Zimbabwe's forests are going up in smoke

Ray Mwareya

22nd July 2014

A flood of smallholders that have benefited from Zimbabwe's land reform are turning to tobacco as their crop of choice, reports Ray Mwareya. But the economic gains are coming at a terrible cost - the accelerating destruction of the country's forests. more...
For Sale - the Co-op's Stoughton Farm.

Community bids excluded from Coop farm sale

The Ecologist

9th July 2014

The sale process of the UK's Co-op Group of its entire 70,000 acre farm estate systematically blocked community and cooperative bidders. Not a single such bid was received by the deadline. more...
French dairy farmers Sandrine Lizaga milking her organic ewes.

EU outlaws animal use of herbal remedies on organic farms

Sandra Saadi

11th July 2014

New EU regulations forbid the use of herbal remedies and plant essences to maintain animal health instead of antibiotics, reports Sandra Saadi. An organic ewe breeder in France has already been threatened with the loss of EU farm support payments. more...
Bee gathering nectar. Photo: Jack Wolf via Flickr.

Victory! Syngenta pulls 'bee-killer' pesticide application

The Ecologist

4th July 2014

Blaming 'lack of time', Syngenta withdraws its emergency application to use a seed treatment blamed for killing bees. Friends of the Earth and 38 Degrees claim victory - but Syngenta warns: we'll be back! more...
Spaying agro-chemicals on a windy day. Photo: Graham Rawlings via Flickr.

Scientists write: EPA, ban 'agent orange' herbicide mix and GMO crops!

The undersigned

3rd July 2014

Thirty-five distinguished scientists urge the US-EPA not to register new mixtures of the herbicides 2,4-D and glyphosate, intended for use on herbicide-tolerant GMO crops. Approval of the herbicide mixtures would endanger both human and environmental health. more...
Model's prediction vs recorded data of (a) reactor (infected) cattle, shaded region shows 95% credibility from 5,000 simulations, and (b) distribution density of infected cattle. Image: Brooks-Pollock, Roberts, Keeling / Nature.

Culling badgers is no way to stop the spread of bovine TB

Matt Keeling

3rd July 2014

Published in Nature today, a new cattle herd model shows how bTB infects cattle and how to halt its spread, writes Matt Keeling. Most effective is the slaughter of entire herds with even a single TB infection detected. Culling badgers has very little impact. more...

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