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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...
Inspecting a tomato at the wonderful Evergreen Brick Works' greenhouse in Toronto. Photo: Joseph Morris via Flickr.

Vertical farming - viable agriculture or urban pipedream?

Matt Bevington

27th October 2014

If you don't want industrial agriculture ravaging the world to feed cities nutrient-deprived, genetically modified, chemical-drenched pap, here's an alternative, writes Matt Bevington: let cities grow their own fresh produce on 'vertical farms' in disused industrial buildings, restoring sustainability and accountability to the food chain. 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...
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson faces a High Court appearance when his 'irrational' decision to hold the 2014 badger cull with no independent expert scrutiny is subjected to Judicial Review.

Badger cull High Court challenge goes ahead

The Ecologist

2nd July 2014

The Badger Trust has been granted leave for a Judicial Review of Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and Natural England over their 'irrational' decision to conduct the 2013 badger cull with no independent expert scrutiny. more...
Neonicotinoid insecticides are killing more than just bees - entire farmland ecosystems are being poisoned. Photo: honeybees (Apis mellifera) on wild fennel, Albany, California, by Jack Wolf via Flickr.

Neonicotinoids are poisoning entire farmland ecosystems

Damian Carrington / The Guardian

2nd July 2014

The widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides is causing a neurotoxic overload afflicting entire farm ecosystems from earthworms to bees, other pollinators and birds, writes Damian Carrington. A collapse in food production may inevitably follow. more...
Examples of female mammary tumors observed. Mammary tumors are evidenced (A, D, H, representative adenocarcinoma, from the same rat in a GMO group) and in Roundup and GMO + Roundup groups, two representative rats (B, C, E, F, I, J fibroadenomas) are compa

Seralini republished: Roundup-ready GMO maize causes serious health damage

Oliver Tickell

25th June 2014

A scientific study that identified serious health impacts on rats fed on 'Roundup ready' GMO maize has been republished following its controversial retraction under strong commercial pressure. Now regulators must respond and review GMO and agro-chemical licenses, and licensing procedures. more...
A terraced valley at Battir. Photo: Andrea Moroni via Flickr.

Palestine's Battir terraces accorded World Heritage protection

Abby Zimet

25th June 2014

An ancient system of irrigated terraces in Palestine's West Bank have been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site against strong opposition from Israel - which wants to build its 'separation wall' across Battir, cutting Palestinian farmers from their land. more...
The women farmers of Edamalakudi. Photo: Madhuraj, Mathrubhumi Weekly.

Solidarity, group farming and solar panels in the jungles of Kerala

P. Sainath

1st August 2014

A social solidarity movement is transforming the lives of millions of poor women in Kerala, south India, writes P. Sainath - and among the greatest beneficiaries are indigenous adivasi women who dwell deep in the the forests, and their historically marginalized communities. more...
A palm oil plantation in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo: Rainforest Action Network.

The Big Ten food companies must join the climate fight

Julia Wright

20th June 2014

Oxfam's report 'Standing on the Sidelines' lays down a challenge to the 'Big 10' of the global food industry, writes Julia Wright. They must cut their huge carbon emissions, campaign to protect global climate, and rethink their entire mission to encompass health and wellbeing. more...

farming: 75/100 of 1075
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These organic broad beans at Sandly Lane Farm, Oxfordshire, will soon be ready for harvest. Photo: Sandy Lane Farm.

Earth's vitality and the power of happiness

Jigmi Y. Thinley

19th June 2014

Farming should not only sustain people with healthy food, writes Jigmi Y. Thinley. If humans are to survive on Earth, it must also revitalise nature and sustain vital planetary systems, instead of poisoning and over-exploiting them. And to do that farming must be organic. more...
These cows on the Kerry Ridgeway in Wales are subject to annual TB testing - key to halving TB incidence over 5 years. Photo: John Clift via Flickr.

Bovine TB - biosecurity works, new Defra figures show

Lesley Docksey

18th June 2014

With the 6th International Conference on Bovine TB under way today in Cardiff, Lesley Docksey reports on Defra's latest statistics. BTB in England is falling - and it's falling fastest where the strongest biosecurity measures are in place, confirming the experience of Wales and Scotland. more...
If Europe's farms, like this one near Ludlow, England, provide benefits to wildlife, it's no thanks to the EU's agriculture policies. Photo: Robert Davies via Flickr.

The 'greening' of Europe's farms is a shameful failure

Lynn Dicks & Tim Benton

17th June 2014

The EU's farming policy is being touted as 'greener than ever' - but it's no such thing, write Lynn Dicks & Tim Benton. The 'green reforms' pay farmers for actions (and often inactions) that do not benefit wildlife, and contain no real or effective measures to help. more...
Coming to EU soon - unless the Parliament blocks it. Photo: Dawn One / © Linda and Mikael Hammond / IndyFoto.com via Flickr.

EU go-ahead for GMO crops

The Ecologist

12th June 2014

The EU's Environment Council voted today to devolve GMO decisions to member states - in effect allowing pro-GM governments to go ahead. This messy compromise threatens to allow GMO corporations to ride roughshod over Europe. more...
Switchgrass - 65 tons of it - baled and delivered to a poultry farm. In future, it will be sent in far larger volumes to bioethanol plants. Photo: University of Delaware Carvel REC via Flickr.

GMO bug makes bioethanol direct from grass

Tim Radford

15th June 2014

A new GM bacterium can produce bioethanol from coarse switchgrass, rather than using food crops like maize, writes Tim Radford. It does this by 'digesting' the tough cellulose that yeasts are unable to break down. 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.

HSI calls on farmers - 'go badger-friendly' to control bovine TB

Lesley Docksey

10th June 2014

Following new research showing that even culling a single badger from a family can cause a 'perturbation' that spreads TB, a new call has gone out on farmers to give up on culling, and 'go badger friendly' to control the disease. more...
Sunset over the Sacramenta River - but how much longer will it be there? Photo: Eric Leslie via Flickr.

Stealing the Sacramento River - California agro‑barons' last huge water grab

Will Parrish

17th June 2014

In California, water no longer runs to the sea - it runs towards money, writes Will Parrish. Most of the state's water is already controlled by agribusiness elites. Now, backed by politicians, they are planning to grab the little that's left, leaving nature and indigenous communities high and dry. more...
a female Monarch Butterflyen (Danaus plexippus) laying an egg on a Mexican Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica ) at the Tyler Arboretum. Photo: © Derek Ramsey via Wikimedia.

Heavy herbicide use on GMO crops raises Monarch butterfly extinction fear

John Pleasants

10th June 2014

Thanks to herbicide use on GMO crops in the US and Canada, Monarch butterfly numbers have crashed - the milkweeds the larvae feed on now survive mainly in 'conservation reserve' land and roadsides - and there's a 5% chance the Monarch will be extinct within 100 years. more...
Our green and pleasant land deserves better than this! Photo: Matthew via Flickr.

Final fling of a government of lost opportunities

Natalie Bennett

6th June 2014

The Government has let down Britain with its repeated failures to seize the opportunities of green growth, healthy local food, better housing, environmental protection - and is instead pinning all its hopes on flawed, outmoded ideologies that betray our futures. more...
Farming in Poland, the traditional way. Photo: Jejma via Flickr.

The farmer is the future

Julian Rose

13th June 2014

In our modern world of supermarkets and on-demand delivery, its easy to forget about the few remaining 'real farmers' who grow healthy, wholesome food, writes Julian Rose. But it won't be long before we give them the appreciation they deserve ... more...
Small farmers - like Ndomi Magareth, planting beans here on her land in Cameroon - 'are losing land at a tremendous rate. It’s a land reform movement in reverse', says GRAIN’s Henk Hobbelink. Credit: Monde Kingsley Nfor/IPS

'Land reform in reverse' - land grabs are increasing world hunger

Stephen Leahy

3rd June 2014

Small farmers are losing out as the world's farmland is becoming concentrated in ever fewer hands - and food security is suffering as a consequence. If we do nothing to reverse this trend, writes Stephen Leahy, the world will lose its capacity to feed itself. more...
A farmer in Lushoto, Tanzania prepares seedlings for transplanting. Photo: P. Kimeli /  CIFOR.

Want to restore the world's forests? Begin with these 'surprising seven' countries

Katie Reytar / WRI

3rd June 2014

There's two billion hectares of land around the world crying out to have their tree cover restored, writes Katie Reytar. But where to begin? Here's seven countries that offer huge reforestation opportunities - and every one of them will take you by surprise ... more...
These fields of oilseed rape / canola near Avebury, Wiltshire, England, could soon be GMO if the EU deal is approved next week. Photo: *Bettina* via Flickr.

Deceitful compromise clears the way for GMO crops in Europe

Lawrence Woodward

31st May 2014

An unholy alliance of pro- and anti-GMO countries have struck a deal that will sweep away the obstacles to genetically engineered crops in the EU, writes Lawrence Woodward. more...

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