What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary on the news stories, reports and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

Big Data and development: Upsides, downsides and a lot of questions, Duncan Green, Oxfam

Cash Crops With Dividends: Financiers Transforming Strawberries Into Securities, The New York Times

Video: ‘Journey of a gene’ illustrates science of genetic engineering for consumers, Genetic Literacy Project

Why NGOs can’t be trusted on GMOs, The Guardian

The Guardian, Marc Gunther and some NGOs can’t be trusted on GMOs, Political Concern

International Food Security Assessment, 2014-24, USDA

On Trial: Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa, Chatham House

Could businesses do for aid what Amazon did for retail?, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Missing Food, APPG on Agriculture and Food for Development

The Potential Impacts of Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Engineered Food in the United States, CAST

‘Peak soil’ threatens future global food security, Reuters [Read more…]

What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary on the news stories, reports and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

Putting meaning back into “sustainable intensification”, Loos et al, Ecological Society of America

The Top 10 Most Innovative Companies In Africa, Fast Company

2014 World Food Prize Honors Critical Breakthroughs in Wheat, World Food Prize

Gates Foundation funds production of ‘smart rice’ variety, Far Eastern Agriculture

Discovery of a bud-break gene could lead to trees adapted for a changing climate, Oregon State University

Parasites, killing their host, The New York Times

FAO Success Stories on Climate-Smart Agriculture, FAO

Climate change activists: your focus on food insecurity is backfiring, The Guardian [Read more…]

What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary on the news stories, reports and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

Improving Crop Yields in a World of Extreme Weather Events, University of California, Riverside

Maps reveal ‘hidden hunger’ that stifles development, SciDev.Net

Africa can follow Brazil’s lead in battle to eradicate hunger, says Lula, The Guardian

 Investing in smallholder agriculture for food security, The High Level Panel of Experts of Food Security and Nutrition

FACT SHEET: Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa, The White House

Women’s Empowerment in Kenya, A Global Village

World hunger reduction: Missed goals and incomplete strategies, Policy Pennings

U.S. Approves a Label for Meat From Animals Fed a Diet Free of Gene-Modified Products, The New York Times

Europe should rethink its stance on GM crops, Nature

GM crops won’t help African farmers, The Guardian

The True Deservers of a Food Prize, The New York Times

First Ever Report on Global School Feeding Launched in US, Home Grown School Feeding

Non-GM farming in Europe ‘outperforms’ GM farming in US, Public Service Europe

Food Security Strategy Group, The Aspen Institute

Antiobiotic use on organic apples and pears

ID-1005279 (2)Think organic farming doesn’t use harmful compounds, think again. As the expiry date for the use of the antibiotics, Streptomycin and Oxytetracycline, on organic apple and pear farming in the US approaches, much debate has arisen over the standards for organic farming and food labelling.

Apples and pears are subject to an infection called Fire Blight, which can devastate entire orchards For that reason organic farmers have received an exemption allowing them to spray certain antibiotics to tackle this disease. In 2002 when the US Department of Agriculture’s national organic labelling standards went into effect the two antibiotics were included in a list of ‘allowed’ compounds subject to periodic review. This exemption is set to expire in October 2014, which supposedly allowed time to develop new, non-antibiotic, methods of control. But as 2014 approaches and a viable alternative is still lacking, some groups are battling for an extension on this expiry date.

Last week the National Organic Standards Board met to discuss a petition from organic farmers to extend the exemption. They rejected this petition and use of the antibiotic Oxytetracyline will not be allowed beyond the existing expiration date. In six months’ time the Board will meet again to discuss the use of Streptomycin. [Read more…]

What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary on the news stories and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

Food Politics Creates Rift in Panel on Labeling, The New York Times

Use of GM cotton linked to rise in aphid numbers, SciDev.Net

Climate Conversations – Forest foods should be used in fight against global malnutrition, AlertNet

Consumers don’t trust supermarkets on GM food, poll finds, The Grocer

Global Food Prices Continue to Rise, World Watch Institute

As extreme weather drives rustling, pastoralists turn to farming, AlertNet

Africa: How Do Politics and Agriculture Mix in Africa?, All Africa

How to save two million lives, The Guardian

Fancy a curry?, Global Food Security Blog

What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary on the news stories and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

New study: A warming world will further intensify extreme precipitation events, NOAA

Pioneers in Sustainable Food Show We Can Eat Well and Protect Environment, NRDC

You taste what you see: Do organic labels bias taste perceptions? Lee et al

Transforming lives through improved access to agricultural education in Africa, NRI

Enterprise fund, Farm Africa

Land sparing versus land sharing: new evidence, Ideas for Sustainability

Traditional weeding methods still prevail on Ugandan farms, Pathways to Productivity

How can agribusiness work best for development? The Guardian

Important source of greenhouse gas emissions from farmland underestimated, UC Davis

Uganda’s genetically modified golden bananas, BBC

Robustness and strategies of adaptation among farmer varieties of African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and Asian rice (Oryza sativa) across West Africa, PLoS One

Examining benefits and safety of genetically modified crops, Peoples Daily

Gender-sensitive climate finance crucial – experts, AlertNet

New IATP report addresses water governance in the 21st century, IATP

Loss of wild pollinators would hit crops, finds study, SciDev.Net

Fighting for family farmers, Huffington Post

The G-20 and Food Security: What Is the Right Agenda? The Stanley Institute

Obama signs ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ written by Monsanto-sponsored senator, RT

What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary on the news stories and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

Talk point: is water a commodity or a human right?, The Guardian

Demystifying modern biotechnology, Modern Ghana

FAO leader calls for shift towards more sustainable food production and diet, Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR) 95th Anniversary Symposium

Yes, I get furious when foreign aid is wasted. But Britons are saving lives… and are leading the world, says Bill Gates, Daily Mail

George Osborne declares ‘historic moment’ on UK aid target, The Guardian

Stop GM crops in Europe – new campaign launched, GM Watch

Food, fuel and plant nutrient use in the future, Council for Agricultural Science and Technology

GMO poll finds huge majority say foods should be labeled, Huffington Post

New metric to be launched on hunger and food insecurity, FAO

New EU policy to improve nutrition across the world and save millions of lives, EU

Connecting the dots between vaccines and hunger, The Guardian

Africa is on the rise – come see for yourselves, Financial Times

Aid for Trade: Reviewing EC and DFID Monitoring and Evaluation Practices, Traidcraft and CAFOD