Assessing carbon footprints on the farm

Discussions about climate change often lead to how agriculture is a major contributor of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It is also true that agricultural communities are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, as they are often those most closely linked to natural ecosystems for their economic, social and environmental well-being. The challenge is to find practical strategies to adapt to and mitigate the current and anticipated effects of climate change. Our upcoming webinar will do just that.

Posted April 14, 2015

Agricultural Fungicides and Public Health

It is becoming clear that public health is increasingly at risk from resistance to some important fungicides, exacerbated by the overuse of agricultural fungicides. Fungicide resistance is showing up everywhere. Hardly a day passes without news of resistance to fungicide in another plant or animal -- bats, salamanders, Norway Maples, Hawthorns, wheat, corn, soy beans, coffee, potatoes, bananas, cats, cattle, honey bees, and now humans.

Posted March 05, 2015

TTIP and Animal Welfare

The EU and US have very different rules on the treatment of farm animals. The EU recognizes animals as sentient beings and requires Member states to respect their welfare, banning some of the worst forms of cruelty, many of which are common in the United States. Progress has been more limited in the U.S., but animal welfare activists won a major victory with California’s passage of a new law banning eggs produced in battery cages.

Posted February 26, 2015

Trading Away Our Bees

The die-off of bees and other pollinators poses an enormous threat to our food and agriculture system and environment. A growing body of scientific evidence points to neonicotinoids (neonics), a class of systemic pesticides, as a primary cause of the massive decline of bees. Last year the EU imposed a moratorium on certain neonics, and a broader review of harmful pesticides is underway. Environmental and agriculture organizations are pushing for a ban in the U.S. at both the state and federal levels, and several cities have already banned neonics.

Posted November 04, 2014

TTIP and Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is one of the greatest threats to public health. Margeret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization has warned, “A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.”

TTIP and GMOs

On June 16, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack cautioned European Union members against raising health or safety risks when banning the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The debate over GMOs is intensifying as agribusiness on both sides of the Atlantic attempt to weaken standards on genetically modified organisms and their labeling through a new trade agreement.

Posted June 08, 2014

Trade rules for poultry and pork: safe for whom?

One of the flashpoints in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks is the pressure to bring EU standards to U.S. levels in ways that expand the use of industrial agriculture despite the risks to human and animal health and worker safety. A range of issues are on the table including the EU's refusal to allow imports of chicken rinsed in chlorine and other harsh chemicals and the use of Ractopamine in pork production. Please join us for a webinar to learn about the trade, food safety and labor rights issues involved in this debate.

Can Food Safety Become a Game Changer Against Industrializing Meat Production in China?

China's meat revolution has entailed a massive increase in the concentrations of pigs, cows, poultry on "specialized" farms with intense price competition amongst retailers and processors that provide "cheap" and abundant meat to an urban population. Subsequent food safety problems are resulting in further government incentives for industrialization of the supply chain, with the U.S. meat industry as the model. Can Chinese public opinion change this direction and what lessons can be learned from the U.S. experience?

Speakers:

Posted February 25, 2014

China's Meat Revolution: Agribusiness, Growth and Its Limits

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of pork, the second largest producer of poultry and the fourth largest dairy producer. How and why has China achieved this "meat miracle"? What are the politics of this growth and the role of Chinese and foreign transnationals? Can China continue producing and consuming more or are there social and ecological limits that create "peak meat"?

Posted February 19, 2014

China's Meat Revolution and its Need for Feed

Industrial meat production is showing serious signs of stress around the world. Bird flu cases are surging in China's poultry. Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) is spreading in the U.S. At the same time the meat industry grows more and more concentrated. China's meat and dairy sectors have undergone a massive transformation in the last thirty years from backyard farming toward a highly destructive model of industrial meat production. This transition towards "scale, standardization and consolidation" continues to unfold.

Posted February 11, 2014