New Groundbreaking Research Shows Glyphosate Persists In Soil

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By Staff of Sustainable Pulse – In contrast to what its manufactures purport, glyphosate persists in soils affecting not only soil fertility and crop quality, but also human and environmental health. The research study by the Dutch University of Wageningen and Rikilt laboratories, jointly with the JRC, reveals that among 317 EU soil samples of arable land, 42% contained AMPA, the most toxic metabolite of glyphosate, while glyphosate was found in 21% of the soils; 18% of the samples had both. The study was conducted in six crop systems along 11 EU member states comprising soils under different geographical and climatic conditions. Denmark, the UK and Portugal are the worst in this spectrum, with the highest detection frequency, while Italy and Greece seem to be the ones using less glyphosate on their crops. However, and most notably, these 2 molecules could be found in every tested member state. All tested crops presented glyphosate and AMPA residues. By far, the worst case was that of Portuguese vineyards, while no crops exhibited patterns of reduced reliance on glyphosate compared to others. The results prove that the accumulation and persistence of glyphosate in soil is underestimated by European authorities, as is the harm it may cause to environmental ecosystems. The concentrations of glyphosate and AMPA found in the study have been shown to be toxic to soil organisms such as earthworms, beneficial bacteria and fungi , as glyphosate weakens down plants’ natural defences making them susceptible to pathogens.

Community Market Stand Small Part Of Patching Big Hole With 23rd And Jackson Red Apple Closure

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By Staff for Capitol Hill Seattle Blog – When the Central District Red Apple closed this month as Vulcan readies plans to redevelop the store’s corner of 23rd and Jackson, residents of the CD lost a community resource and one of the only big grocery markets in the area. Lottie Cross, the director of Clean Greens, a nonprofit market stand and CSA, and 55-year resident of the Central District, came to the rescue. Providing no-pesticide, herbicide-free collard greens, potatoes, tomatoes, cantaloupe, pumpkins, sweet corn, and many other vegetables, Clean Greens is filling a small part of the big hole left by Red Apple’s closure. “They (Vulcan) came to me,” Cross tells CHS. “Last Saturday was our first day in the new location — we sold way more than usual. At least 50 people stopped by and almost bought us out.” Formerly located at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church on Saturdays, the Clean Green market stand now pops up across the parking lot from the old Red Apple, near the Walgreens. According to Cross, Vulcan partnered with Clean Greens to provide access to healthy food “for as long as possible.” It’s up to the weather to decide how long the stand is there, but Cross expects to have a presence through December, and maybe after. Cross tells CHS that any leftover vegetables go to Operation Sack Lunch, a nonprofit that provides free vegetarian meals throughout Seattle. Vulcan supplies a tent, and funding for one person to run the market stand, but other than that, it’s a purely volunteer organization.

Rajasthan Farmers Sit Neck-Deep to Protest Land Deal

Canceling NAFTA Could Be The Best Way Forward

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By Lois Ross for Rabble. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you called the bully’s bluff? As Liberal members of Parliament return to their seats in the House of Commons, they need to consider the sometimes-veiled opportunities that political bullying provides. Are you listening, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland? More than 20 years ago, I was someone who campaigned and organized against the passage of both the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). I was devastated, like many others, when both passed, first the FTA and then later NAFTA, enabled by the Liberals, and supported over the years by various shades of Conservatives.

Harvest Like Our Ancestors: The Resistance Is Fertile

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By Ruth Hopkins for Indian Country Today – It’s time for the harvest. Traditionally, the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) are hunter gatherers. For generations, our children have gotten excited when the chokecherries turn black, because that meant they were ripe for picking. Buffaloberries and wild plums are ready when the chokecherries are. Wild strawberries and raspberries were ready a month previous, along with wild onions; prairie turnips (timpsila) were picked two months before that. The berries and plums can be eaten fresh picked, and are made into jams and jellies. Wojapiis a delicious dessert made from honey or sugar and berries, usually chokecherries. Chokecherries mixed with kidney fat and dried meat are also used to make wasna, ceremonial food. My father, who is a wild game hunter, loves pemmican. We gather first. Hunting will come in another month’s time. It’s time to pick medicine too. The prairie sage is tall. We start collecting sage and sweetgrass ahead of sundance, but we continue to collect enough to last us through the winter, which is well into March in the Dakotas. Do not pull them out by the root, and leave an offering along with a prayer of thanks for your bounty. There are many other Native plants that can be harvested and dried for medicine, like yarrow and purple coneflower. If you’ve never used these wild medicines before, I caution you against doing so unless you’re under the guidance of an elder, medicine person, or ethnobotanist. We like to pick from designated areas as well, as some plants have been exposed to manmade pollution and aren’t suitable for consumption.

A New Generation Of Small Farmers Is Emerging In Atlanta

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By K. Rashid Nuri for The Huffington Post – A political democracy is worthless without an economic democracy. What we have in America, with its 1-10 percent minority in control of 95 percent of the wealth, is closer to an economic monarchy. The fundamental necessities of food, clothing and shelter are largely controlled by business and government interests that are far removed from the people who depend upon them. A community that can’t feed itself is vulnerable to the whims of others. America’s large consumer economy was built at the expense of personal and community autonomy. Few of us can truly decide what we want for dinner, based on what nature offers and the work that we are willing to do to get it. Millions of Americans are learning that the convenience of letting someone else feed us has resulted in widespread side effects: dangerous chemicals in our food, poor nutrition, chronic diseases and damage to the environment. Urban agriculture can change the food landscape and put the power to choose back in the hands of the people. The solution is in the soil close to where people live. For most of human history, food was produced within walking distance of where it was consumed, allowing people to maintain a direct connection with the land and their food. America was 95 percent rural in 1900. Today, 81 percent of Americans live in metropolitan areas.

Top Scientist: Widespread Pesticide Use Is Not Safe

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By Damian Carrington for The Guardian – The assumption by regulators around the world that it is safe to use pesticides at industrial scales across landscapes is false, according to a chief scientific adviser to the UK government. The lack of any limit on the total amount of pesticides used and the virtual absence of monitoring of their effects in the environment means it can take years for the impacts to become apparent, say Prof Ian Boyd and his colleague Alice Milner in a new article. The damning assessment of pesticide regulations that are meant to protect the global environment follows a growing number of highly critical reports including research showing farmers could slash their pesticide use without losses and a UN report that denounced the “myth” that pesticides are necessary to feed the world. “The current assumption underlying pesticide regulation – that chemicals that pass a battery of tests in the laboratory or in field trials are environmentally benign when they are used at industrial scales – is false,” state the scientists in their article published in the journal Science. Boyd is chief scientific adviser to the UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, where Milner also works on secondment, but their criticism reflects their own views. “The effects of dosing whole landscapes with chemicals have been largely ignored by regulatory systems,” the scientists said.

Solar And Agriculture Can Be Complementary

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By Elizabeth Ouzts for SEN – On a 120-acre farm in Biscoe, North Carolina, near the edge of the Uwharrie National Forest, a flock of hair sheep takes shelter from the summer sun beneath a row of solar panels. Grazing on grasses, clover, and flowering weeds, a chorus of lamb bleats urgently between bites. Ewes nudge their young and blink dispassionately at onlookers. Raised without antibiotics or growth hormones, ultimately the disheveled-looking creatures – their fur characteristically patchy – will end up at a Charlotte farm-to-table restaurant 70 miles away, perhaps in the form of salami or fennel and garlic spiced burgers. For now, they provide a valuable service to O2 emc – the Cornelius-based company that owns this solar installation – by preventing weeds that could block sunlight and decrease the panels’ efficiency. “What we’re trying to do is put agriculture and solar right next to each other,” says Brock Phillips of Sun-Raised Farms, who owns and manages the sheep. “It can be quite symbiotic if implemented correctly.”

The Attitude Of Solutions

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By Paul Glover. The United States’ largest problems — job loss, wage cuts, foreclosures, crumbling bridges, medical costs, school taxes, pollution, crime, hunger, national debt and war — each have many solutions. Real solutions do not wait for government or corporations. They depend on each of us, starting where we live, with whoever is ready to begin. For 45 years, I’ve responded to news with solutions. When I hear bad news, my reflex is to imagine a solution, design it, then begin it. Guided by common sense alone, and without waiting for precise diploma, I’ve started 20 organizations and campaigns.They provide practical alternatives for food, fuel, housing, health care, urban design, education, transportation, sanitation, finance, and jobs. Millions of lively patriots are already enjoying building a new America.

True Food Systems Change From The Bottom Up

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By Families United for Justice. On June 15th FUJ members turned out to overwhelmingly ratify the tentative collective bargaining agreement presented by their negotiations committee. After an overview of the contract the Mixteco and Triqui hand harvesters, men and women, lined up to cast their ballots. Official vote counters Jeff Johnson President of the WA State Labor Council and Steve Garey former President of the Steelworkers Local 12-591 tallied the vote and announced it was over 85% in favor of ratifying the tentative agreement. The harvesting season will begin soon with contractual benefits for members of FUJ hand harvesting the berries. Among the benefits union members will receive is an average $15 an hour wage. While this contract is truly a great victory, C2C’s vision for a better food system stretches far beyond this moment.

Boycott Wendy's

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By Coalition of Immokalee Workers. For over three years, farm workers and consumers have been demanding that Wendy’s join its major competitors – Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Subway and Burger King – in participating in the Fair Food Program. Yet, Wendy’s has instead consciously and shamefully opted to profit from farm worker poverty and abuse, continuing to cling to the low-bar standards of the past when presented with an acclaimed and proven alternative. Rather than participate in what was called the “best workplace-monitoring program” in the U.S. in the New York Times, Wendy’s ran from responsibility and abandoned the Florida tomato industry altogether. In response to increasing pressure from consumers to join the Fair Food Program, Wendy’s released a new code of conduct for its suppliers, a perfect example of the failed, widely-discredited approach to corporate social responsibility that is completely void of effective enforcement mechanisms to protect farm workers’ human rights.

‘Seed’ Documentary Explores The David-and-Goliath Battle With Food Corporations

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By Jordan Riefe for Truth Dig – Maybe Jack wasn’t the fool son when he traded the family cow for a handful of magic beans. Seeds are the givers of life, the minute building blocks of family farms and agri-empires alike. They are powerful and often sacred objects woven into local customs and cultures around the world. America’s own Thomas Jefferson was a famous horticulturist and seed saver who grew 330 varieties of vegetables and 170 varieties of fruit. Among his illustrious titles was that of patent examiner, basing his decisions on laws he himself had written. Items deliberately excluded from patents included plants and animals, placing public interest over private gain. Throughout human existence, seed diversity has been a constant, including drought-resistant strains, or those able to withstand floods or wide temperature swings. For countries plagued by war and poverty, this can mean the difference between life and death. “The Irish potato famine is a clear and elementary example of what happens when you rely on too little diversity—[you get a] mass refugee situation, many of them fleeing to the U.S.,” Jon Betz tells Truthdig. He and co-director Taggart Siegel are the filmmaking team of “Seed: The Untold Story,” a documentary that premieres on PBS’s Independent Lens on April 17, and streams online beginning April 18.

#GlobalSeedGrab: Reject World Bank's Enabling Business Of Agriculture Index

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By Staff of Oakland Institute – The Enabling the Business of Agriculture index is used to promote pro-corporate agricultural reforms around the world. In the seed sector, it rewards countries that implement intellectual property rights (IPRs) to allow companies to profit from the use of their seeds by farmers. The EBA also benchmarks how easy it is for the private sector to produce and register seeds, to access genetic resources in national seed banks, and to achieve predominant representation in the committees deciding to introduce new seed varieties in countries. While the Bank claims to encourage “smart and balanced policies,” the Enabling the Business of Agriculture index largely ignores farmer-managed seed systems, which provide 80 to 90% of farmers’ seed supply in developing countries and are key to preserving agro-biodiversity and fostering resilience against climate and economic shocks.

Mandatory Carcinogen Warning Label On Monsanto's Roundup Weed Killer: Coming Soon In California!

A sign at Wednesday morning's rally in front of the U.S. Capitol building. (Photo: Occupy Monsanto/@gmo917/Twitter)

By Stephen Fox for Op Ed News – California can require Monsanto to label its popular weed killer Roundup as a carcinogen, according to a ruling by a judge in Fresno, California, although the corporation predictably sings its weary mantra that maintains that the product is “harmless,” now beginning to seem like a losing battle. It is far beyond my powers of comprehension to understand how it is that Bayer want to take on this rat’s nest of liability and cancer labels by buying Monsanto for $66 billion, not even a fire sale price! California would be the first state to order this level of labeling if this decision by the California Carcinogen Identification Committee is sustained by further court action.

Mexico Continues To Prohibit And Interdict Monsanto's GMO Corn

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By Stephen Fox for Op Ed News – “It’s going to take a long while for all the evidence to be presented. I think we’re talking years.” Monsanto’s yellow corn imports will increase by 20+ percent the next season, because of increasing production costs and the weakening peso. Mexico is self-sufficient when it comes to the country’s white corn, they rely on GMO corn that comes from the United States to feed livestock. As reported by Reuters’ David Alire Garcia in Mexico City: Mexico is the birthplace of modern corn, domesticated about 8,000 years ago and today the planet’s most-produced grain.