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Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on Nov 10th, 2017
Francis Thicke retired from the NOSB yesterday. As a highly respected soil scientist, organic dairy farmer, and former employee of the USDA, he brought a unique perspective to the NOSB in his role as an environmental representative on the board. He was a mentor for many fellow NOSB members. We have shared his closing remarks below.

Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on Jul 21st, 2017
The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting has completed a two-year investigation into 10 years of labor complaints against some of the biggest seed production companies in the world.
Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on Jul 03rd, 2017

No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you: Researchers from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences really are trying to genetic engineer heat-resistant cows of the future — and they received a three-year, $733,000 federal grant to help them achieve their goal.


The project involves the use of genomic tools to produce a new kind of bovine that has the ability to adapt to live in hot weather, while also producing top-quality beef in the process.



Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on Jul 03rd, 2017

On February 26, 2008, a $9-million underground seed vault began operating deep in the permafrost on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, just 810 miles from the North Pole. This high-tech Noah’s Ark for the world’s food varieties was intended to assure that, even in a worst-case scenario, our irreplaceable heritage of food seeds would remain safely frozen.


Less than 10 years after it opened, the facility flooded. The seeds are safe; the water only entered a passageway. Still, as vast areas of permafrost melt, the breach raises serious questions about the security of the seeds, and whether a centralized seed bank is really the best way to safeguard the world’s food supply.


Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on Jul 01st, 2017

Last week, Reuters reported on an alleged conspiracy to cover up data showing that there is no relationship between glyphosate (the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller) and cancer after all. The piece triggered a frenzy of media coverage and fresh attacks on the credibility of World Health Organization’s classification of glyphosate’s cancer risk. However, after the original documents that the article relied on surfaced, it was clear that the sensational headline doesn’t tell the whole story.



Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on Jul 01st, 2017

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt met with Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris before deciding to reverse an earlier EPA decision to ban the company's toxic and widely used pesticide, chlorpyrifos.


According to records obtained by the Associated Press, the EPA boss met with Liveris for about 30 minutes at a Houston hotel on March 9. Later that month, Pruitt announced that he would no longer pursue a ban on chlorpyrifos from being used on food, ignoring his agency's own review that even small amounts of the pesticide could impact fetus and infant brain development.



Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on Jun 28th, 2017

Another day, another lawsuit against global seed and chemical giant Monsanto Co. In a complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in Wisconsin, six consumers alleged that the company’s top-selling Roundup herbicide has been falsely promoted as uniquely safe when it actually can have profound harmful impacts on human gut bacteria critical to good health.


The lawsuit, which also names Roundup distributor Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. as a defendant, specifically alleges that consumers are being deceived by inaccurate and misleading statements made by Monsanto regarding glyphosate, the active weed-killing ingredient in Roundup. Plaintiffs include residents of Wisconsin, Illinois, California, New York, New Jersey and Florida.



Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on Jun 28th, 2017

Arkansas's pesticide regulators have stepped into the middle of an epic battle between weeds and chemicals, which has now morphed into a battle between farmers. Hundreds of farmers say their crops have been damaged by a weedkiller that was sprayed on neighboring fields. Today, the Arkansas Plant Board voted to impose an unprecedented ban on that chemical.


"It's fracturing the agricultural community. You either have to choose to be on the side of using the product, or on the side of being damaged by the product," says David Hundley, who manages grain production for Ozark Mountain Poultry in Bay, Arkansas.


Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on Jun 28th, 2017

Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto Co's popular Roundup weed killer, will be added to California's list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said on Monday.


Monsanto vowed to continue its legal fight against the designation, required under a state law known as Proposition 65, and called the decision "unwarranted on the basis of science and the law."



Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on Jun 22nd, 2017

Amazon revolutionized the sale of books, electronics and other products. Now the online shopping giant is threatening to transform how people buy their food. Inc. dropped a bombshell Friday on the U.S. grocery industry by agreeing to buy Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, including net debt. The 465-store chain, which helped pioneer the large-scale selling of natural and organic groceries, often at a premium price, might seem like a niche player in the $611-billion U.S. grocery world.


Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on Jun 22nd, 2017

"Certified organic" does not necessarily equate to "climate friendly." While there is some evidence that organic techniques produce as much as 40 percent fewer GHGs on average than conventional productions systems, other studies have found more or less a wash between the two. While scientists continue to debate the matter, it's important to realize that the organic standards were never intended to minimize GHGs—they're focused almost exclusively on eliminating synthetic chemicals from the food supply.



Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on Jun 22nd, 2017

In a well-orchestrated and highly coordinated media coup, Monsanto Co. and friends this week dropped a bombshell on opponents who are seeking to prove that the company's beloved Roundup herbicide causes cancer.


A widely circulated story published June 14 in the global news outlet Reuters (for which I formerly worked) laid out what appeared to be a scandalous story of hidden information and a secretive scientist, "exclusive" revelations that the story said could have altered a critical 2015 classification that associated Monsanto's Roundup to cancer and triggered waves of lawsuits against Monsanto.


Posted By: FoodDemocracyNo... on Jun 21st, 2017

Earlier this year, we planted our crops - soybeans, corn, and wheat - and began feeding our spring chickens. Farmers like us have been doing this for generations.


But next year, when we turn to our spring tasks again, the entire farming economy will have shifted under our feet as a result of a merger wave currently underway among the world's agricultural giants. They produce the chemicals and seeds our businesses need.




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