Food aid from the United States often travels thousands of miles before reaching its final destination. Credit: Ephraim Nsingo/IPS
WASHINGTON, Jun 12 2013 (IPS) – Lawmakers attempted Wednesday to push along an ongoing effort to modernise U.S. international food aid policy amid mounting bipartisan support for the use of more locally grown food products over the long-standing practise of shipping U.S.-grown commodities.
The Food Aid Reform Act, introduced by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Representative Ed Royce and Africa Subcommittee Ranking Member Representative Karen Bass, would eliminate previous requirements that food assistance be grown in the United States and transported on U.S.-flagged ships. Advocates say the changes would deliver aid up to 14 weeks faster and reach an estimated two to four million more people. Continue reading →
Common Dreams Indiana farmer must pay agribusiness giant $84,000 for patent infringement
Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer
Indiana grain farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman walks past the US Supreme Court on February 19, 2013 in Washington (AFP/File, Mandel Ngan)
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of biotech giant Monsanto, ordering Indiana farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman, 75, to pay Monsanto more than $84,000 for patent infringement for using second generation Monsanto seeds purchased second hand—a ruling which will have broad implications for the ownership of ‘life’ and farmers’ rights in the future.
In the case, Bowman had purchased soybean seeds from a grain elevator—where seeds are cheaper than freshly engineered Monsanto GE (genetically engineered) seeds and typically used for animal feed rather than for crops. The sources of the seeds Bowman purchased were mixed and were not labeled. However, some were “Roundup Ready” patented Monsanto seeds. Continue reading →
Foodbanks insidiously erode the fundamental principles of modern society: our collective responsibility to support each other by ensuring jobs, income, services and a social security net that protect us from misery. They mark a dangerous regression from food-as-right to food-as-charity. The shift strips those in need of their standing as equal citizens.Continue reading →
Tikal Mayan ruins in Guatemala. The Sumerians and Mayans are just two of the many early civilisations that declined apparently because they moved onto an agricultural path that was environmentally unsustainable. Credit: cc by 3.0
WASHINGTON, Feb 7 2013 (IPS) – The world is in transition from an era of food abundance to one of scarcity. Over the last decade, world grain reserves have fallen by one third. World food prices have more than doubled, triggering a worldwide land rush and ushering in a new geopolitics of food.
Food is the new oil. Land is the new gold.
This new era is one of rising food prices and spreading hunger. On the demand side of the food equation, population growth, rising affluence, and the conversion of food into fuel for cars are combining to raise consumption by record amounts.
On the supply side, extreme soil erosion, growing water shortages, and the earth’s rising temperature are making it more difficult to expand production. Unless we can reverse such trends, food prices will continue to rise and hunger will continue to spread, eventually bringing down our social system. Continue reading →
Hunger is the greatest scandal and the greatest challenge facing our generation. That’s why nearly 100 leading charities, including CAFOD, want to make 2013 the beginning of the end of the global hunger crisis. Continue reading →
Rasna Warah In Summary
In 2008, it was revealed that the Emirate of Qatar had allegedly entered into a deal with the government to convert 40,000 hectares in the region for horticultural produce
• These “land-grabs” reflect a trend internationally where rich food-insecure nations seek to acquire land in poor countries for food or biofuel production to boost their own supplies and to avert domestic instability
• In the Tana Delta, a fragile and extremely important wetland system, the land-grabs may have aggravated tensions between the agriculturalist Pokomo and the pastoralist Orma and Wardei ethnic groups Continue reading →
DOHA, Qatar, Dec 7 2012 (IPS) – Food prices will soar and hundreds of millions will starve without urgent action to make major cuts in fossil fuel emissions. That is what is at stake here on the last day of the U.N. climate talks known as COP 18, scientists and activists say. Carbon emissions are already disrupting the world’s climate, making extreme weather events like droughts, floods and storms more damaging. Agriculture and food production are extremely vulnerable to the impacts climate change, several scientific studies show.Continue reading →
Cimi comes before the people to publicly manifest vehement repugnance at the violent action and murder committed by the Federal Police during the operation called El Dorado. Using the pretext of carrying out judicial orders which determined the destruction of mining balsas in the Teles Pires River and sites of illegal mining, the commander of the operation, Antonio Carlos Muriel Sanchez, led the invasion on November 7, 2012 of the Indian Village Teles Pires, in the Jacareacanga county, state of Pará. According to declarations made in the Federal Public Ministry, there the police practiced all sorts of atrocities, such as: beatings, murder, attempted murder, destruction of houses, the school, the health station, cell phones, computers, the short wave radio, canoes and fishing boats e as balsas used for mining. Now the Indians are not able to fish, porque the river is totally polluted by the fuel in the balsas destroyed by the Federal Police. Continue reading →
* Policy will cut crop-based target, encourage new biofuel sources
* Draft proposals need member state approval
* U.S. biofuel policy also criticised (Adds Oxfam reaction)
By Barbara Lewis and Michele Kambas
BRUSSELS/NICOSIA, Sept 17 (Reuters) – The European Commission announced a major shift in biofuel policy on Monday, saying it plans to limit crop-based biofuels to 5 percent of transport fuel, after campaigners said existing rules take food out of people’s mouths. Continue reading →