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Where were the GMO 'humanitrian' lobbyists? Hundreds of thousands of protesters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa demanding an end to the eviction of Oromo farmers for agricultural 'development' projects, 24th May 2014. Photo: Gadaa.com via Flickr (CC B

The devil in disguise: unmasking the 'humanitarian' GMO narrative

Colin Todhunter

18th May 2015

Corporate lobbyists and their tame politicians love to present GMOs as being humanitarian in purpose, writes Colin Todhunter - as if they exist only to feed the starving millions. But if that's the case, why are they silent on genocidal land grabs, agrochemical poisonings and the destruction of efficient, productive smallholder farming? more...
Local community forest land cleared and planted by Golden Veroleum in Butaw District, Sinoe County, previously contained areas of high­ quality forest many stories high. A woman from a nearby village described that

To make palm oil 'sustainable' local communities must be in charge

Forest Peoples Programme

14th May 2015

The palm oil industry's repeated failure to keep its promises illustrates why global initiatives to achieve 'sustainable palm oil' must place communities centre-stage, writes FPP. Standard-setters like the RSPO must demand action, enforcement and accountability - not just lofty commitments that inspire hope, but rarely deliver. more...
This small cultivator of fresh vegetables in China is probably practising agroecology already! Photo: Jing via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Can agroecology save us from 'scorched-earth' agriculture?

Professor Henrietta Moore

6th May 2015

Industrial agriculture has become a prime driver of many of the world's most serious problems, writes Henrietta Moore: the loss of wild and farmed biodiversity, huge climate-changing emissions, and the entrapment of small farmers in ever-deepening cycles of poverty. But there is a solution: the widespread adoption of agroecological farming. more...
An accidental bush fire at Captain Creek in Central Queensland that started on a nearby farm. But most of the bush clearance is deliberate - and it's taking place on a huge scale. Photo: 80 trading 24 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Why is Australia topping WWF's world deforestation league?

Martine Maron & Bill Laurance

30th April 2015

A new WWF report puts eastern Australia among the world's deforestation hotspots, write Martine Maron & Bill Laurance - estimating that 3-6 million hectares of native forest will be cleared there over the next 15 years. Queensland's new Labor government could reverse the destructive policies - but will it turn a new leaf? more...
Agrochemicals are routinely sprayed right up to the boundary line with residential properties, causing severe ill-health to rural residents. Photo: UK Pesticides Campaign.

It's not just glyphosate and neonicotinoids! Why we need a pesticide-free future

Georgina Downs

30th April 2015

The risk of cancer from the world's top herbicide, glyphosate, is just the tip of the iceberg of health damage caused by exposure to pesticides and other toxic agrochemicals, writes Georgina Downs. It's time for governments to correct their scandalous failure to protect rural residents from the cocktails of poisons sprayed on crops. more...
Something to celebrate: an orangutan swings through the jungle near Bukit Lawang in Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo: Nick Leonard via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Orangutans' reprieve: EuroParl votes to limit biofuels

The Ecologist

28th April 2015

Rainforests around the world and the wildlife they sustain have a rosier future after the European Parliament voted to limit the growth of biofuels such as palm oil in the transport sector. more...
To pollinate California's huge monocultural almond farms bees are trucked in from all over the US, even flown in from Australia, because there's not the quantity or diversity of plants to sustain wild bee colonies or wild pollinators. Photo: Steve Corey v

Bee collapse is the result of their enslavement in industrial monocultures

Allan Stromfeldt Chris­tensen

2nd May 2015

Bee 'colony collapse disorder' cannot be ended by easy technofixes, writes Allan Stromfeldt Christensen. The real problem is the systematic abuse of bees in vast industrial monocultures, as they are trucked or flown thousands of miles from one farm to the next, treated with insecticides and antibiotics, and fed on 'junk food'. more...
A truck carries palm fruit for processing from a rainforest plantation in Indonesia. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Banks raising $400m for palm oil expansion 'must examine high risks'

Oliver Tickell

20th April 2015

Banks preparing to launch a $400m bond issue for a global palm oil giant with a history of legal violations and broken standards have been warned of their 'high risk client' and the 'extreme and outstanding' social and environmental conflicts in the palm oil agribusiness sector. more...
The Monarch butterfly has become an icon of the anti-GMO movement following the species' population collapse in North America - poisoned by 'Bt' GMO crops and starved out by the the destruction of its food plants by massive application of glyphosate on 'r

The existential crisis facing GMOs - they don't work and we don't want them

Colin Todhunter

21st April 2015

The GMO industry has legitimised itself via a vast network of lobbyists and the assiduous capture of the politicians, regulators and scientists that should be holding it to account, writes Colin Todhunter. But as the failure of the GM revolution and its disastrous impacts become ever more evident, the industry's legitimacy is fast eroding away. more...
A farmer and cattle herder in Lawra village, Ghana - the kind of person the World Bank claims to be working for, while promoting a corporate model of agriculture that leaves them landless and destitute. Photo: Photo: P. Casier /CGIAR via Flickr (CC BY-NC-

The battle for the future of farming - why is the World Bank on the wrong side?

The Rules & the Oakland Institute

18th April 2015

The World Bank exists to fight poverty. So why does it promote a profit-driven model of agriculture that enriches corporations at the expense of the small farmers who provide most of the world's food, creating poverty by stealing their land and water, depleting resources and undermining sustainable livelihoods? more...
A Palestinian child clambering in a date palm on an Israeli settlement farm - from cover of the HRW report 'Ripe for Abuse - Palestinian Child Labor in Israeli Agricultural Settlements in the West Bank'.

Ripe for abuse - Palestinian child labour in Israel's West Bank settlement farms

Human Rights Watch / The Ecologist

29th April 2015

Palestinian children as young as 11 work on Israeli farms in the occupied West Bank, an HRW investigation reveals. While the EU buys produce worth $300m a year from the illegal 'settlements', undocumented child labourers are exposed to pesticides, paid well below the minimum wage, enjoy no employment rights, and toil long hours in hot fields and greenhouses. more...
View from the Goodnoe Hills near the Columbia River Gorge, Washington. A small settlement with a school once existed below the abandoned farm house. Photo: gary via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Agroecology and the people's struggle for land and freedom

Blain Snipstal

23rd April 2015

Everyone in this society is caught up in the battle between two models of agriculture, writes Blain Snipsta - industrial agribusiness for profit, control and domination; and small-scale agroecological farming for good food, health, people and planet. more...

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By learning skills like composting, crop diversification, organic pesticide production, seed multiplication and agro-forestry farmers in Malawi are increasing their ability to feed their families over the long term. Photo: Find Your Feet via Flickr (CC BY

Sustainable agriculture in Malawi: a desperate struggle

Marc Crouch / Naturally Africa Volunteers

17th April 2015

Malawi, one of the Earth's poorest nations, faces a desperate struggle to feed its people without destroying the ecosystems it relies on, writes Marc Crouch. Poor agricultural practice has left the country with low crop yields and rampant food shortages, however the government and charities are fighting back. more...
Workers caught in pesticide drift as they work in the fields. Photo: Ecologist Film Unit / Channel 4 News.

Salad days? Semi-slavery on the 'sweating fields' of southern Spain

Almudena Serpis / EFU

16th April 2015

Lettuces, peppers and other vegetables grown under 'semi-slavery' conditions in Spain are filling supermarket shelves in the UK, writes Almudena Serpis. Workers are routinely abused, underpaid, sprayed with pesticide, and sacked if they dare complain, an C4News / Ecologist investigation has found. But now they are getting organised to defend their rights. more...
A tractor spraying unknown chemicals in the British countryside. Photo: Billy Ridgers, author provided.

Thank you Greens! Now other parties too must keep us safe from pesticides

Georgina Downs

14th April 2015

The Green Party manifesto, published today, pledges to enact long overdue restrictions on the use of toxic pesticides to protect rural residents and children from adverse health impacts, writes Georgina Downs. Now all political parties must follow where the Greens have led. more...
Conditions in US factory farms are even worse than those in the EU. Now will MEPs vote to make the higher of EU and US standards apply under TTIP? Or the lower? Photo: Farm Sanctuary via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

TTIP: Europe's food, farms and animals at risk from EuroParl backroom deal

Molly Scott Cato MEP

13th April 2015

MEPs vote tomorrow on Green measures to ensure that TTIP 'harmonisation' on food and farming means applying the highest standards, not the lowest, writes Molly Scott Cato. But will MEP's put farmers, food and animals before corporate profit? more...
A 'money-burning' event organised by the Miami Tea Party to oppose a 46,000 acre conservation land purchase - but were the 'protestors' all actors? So it would seem. Photo: from Youtube video by Miami Tea Party.

Tea Party's fake protestors for Big Sugar against Florida Everglades

Oliver Tickell

8rg April 2015

The Tea Party of Miami put up a convincing demo last week to oppose a 'land grab' that would see 46,000 acres of sugar farm land restored for Everglades conservation. Just one problem - the 'protestors' were actors each being paid $75 for the two-hour shift. more...
Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexipus) caterpillar feeding on butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa), a relative of milkweed. Photo: Martin LaBar via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Neonicotinoid link to Monarch butterfly decline

Jonathan Latham

9th April 2015

Monarch caterpillars are vulnerable to neonicotinoid toxicity at concentrations as low as 1 part per billion, writes Jonathan Latham, and that makes them vulnerable to residues from commercial crops - and even more so from horticultural use in plant nurseries! more...
Corn farm in central Pennsylvania. Photo: fishhawk via Flickr (CC BY).

Industrial corn farming is ruining our health and polluting our watersheds

Donald Scavia

29th April 2015

The over-enrichment of waters and ecosystems with waste nutrients from industrial corn farming is one of America's greatest environmental problems, writes Donald Scavia. And it's a problem that can be solved - by eating less meat and sugar, by adopting rational energy policies, and by demanding sustainably-grown food. more...
Dead fish on the beach at Cape San Blas, Florida, after a 'red tide' event in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Judy Baxter via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Ocean 'dead zones' are spreading - and that spells disaster for fish

Lee Bryant

9th April 2015

Oxygen levels in our oceans are falling, writes Lee Bryant, producing growing 'dead zones' where only the hardiest organisms can survive. The causes are simple: pollution with nutrient-rich wastes, and global warming. But the only solution is to stop it happening - or wait for 1,000 years. more...
Rajendra Singh believes conservation is vital to combat future 'water wars' and climate change. Photo: Deccan Chronicle.

'Water man of India' makes rivers flow again

Pramila Krishnan

8th April 2015

The revival of traditional rainwater harvesting has restored flow to rivers in India's driest state, Rajasthan - thanks to the tireless efforts of Rajendra Singh, recent winner of a Stockholm water prize. And as Pramila Krishnan discovered in a fascinating meeting, Singh's techniques, and his philosophy, are of truly global significance. more...
Front cover image from of 'In Defence of Life' by Sir Julian Rose, published by Earth Books.

In Defence of Life: essays on a radical reworking of green wisdom

Philip Lymbery

23rd April 2015

Julian Rose's diverse collection of essays is engaging, enlightening and life affirming, writes Philip Lymbery - conveying an organic farmer's revulsion at the increasing horrors of industrial agriculture, while setting out his vision of the green and sustainable future he is working to bring about. more...
Grass Fed Cattle certified under the USDA's 'Certified Grass-Fed' scheme on a farm in Maryland. Photo: F Delventhal via US Department of Agriculture on Flickr (CC BY).

Vegetarians, ranchers and conscious omnivores of the world, unite!

Ronnie Cummins

7th April 2015

Thinking people of all stripes are agreed in their opposition to cruel, exploitative animal farming, writes Ronnie Cummins. So it's time for them to move beyond sterile 'meat-eater versus vegetarian' debates, and unite in their opposition to the daily atrocities of industrial agriculture. more...
As California's drought bites, its $500 fines for 'water waster' households, but the water's still flowing for the state's powerful agribusiness sector. Photo: Malcolm Carlaw via Flickr (CC BY).

California drought: agribusiness, fracking untouched by water rationing

Evan Blake

5th April 2015

California has responded to the drought by rationing water, with $500 fines for domestic 'water wasters', writes Evan Blake. But agribusiness and water-intensive industries like fracking remain untouched by the restrictions, even though they consume over 90% of the state's water. more...
Free range, grass fed cattle in the Derbyshire uplands. Photo: John Bennett via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA)

The scientific case for badger culling - an organic farmer writes

Charles Mann

9th April 2015

Organic farmer Charles Mann, aroused by The Ecologist's anti-cull stance, makes an evidence-based case for culling badgers in areas of high TB incidence - together with other measures including enhanced testing in apparently 'low risk' areas that present a high risk of disease spread. more...

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