Published: Thursday 18 October 2012
People lining up for food has become a common sight in many major U.S. cities.

 

Against the backdrop of a spreading global economic crisis, exacerbated by changing climate patterns, the global aim of guaranteeing food security for all by 2015 appears to be far from being achieved.

As delegates and activists are addressing the lingering issues of world hunger, malnutrition and poverty on the occasion of World Food Day Tuesday, homelessness and hunger are spreading fast and affecting millions of people across the globe, with far reaching implications in the United States.

In the world’s wealthiest nation, rising unemployment compounded by unprecedented high food prices are contributing to worsening living conditions. Persistent poverty and growing inequalities rather than scarcity of food is the main cause of hunger in the U.S., many analysts say.

According to the United States Census Bureau, since the global economic recession, the number of U.S. citizens who suffer from food insecurity nearly reached a staggering 50 million as of 2010, which represents the highest level ever recorded since the office began monitoring poverty rates more than 50 years ago.

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Published: Thursday 4 October 2012
Three provisions in the bill would make it more difficult to regulate the safety of genetically modified crops. Consumers fight back with a flurry of organizing.

 

Hidden among the cluttered news cycle of this election season is a crucial debate about genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

September 30 marked the expiration of the 2007 Farm Bill, and the 2012 replacement is now sitting in the House of Representatives. It is unlikely that Congress will vote on the bill until after the elections, so food-safety advocates are ramping up their outreach efforts around this issue in advance of any decision.

What’s the big deal with the new bill? Most importantly, the House version of the 2012 Farm Bill contains three industry-friendly provisions, numbered 10011, 10013, and 10014. Collectively, they have come to be known as the “Monsanto Rider,” and the name is entirely appropriate. If passed, this bill would make it more difficult to stem the tide of GMO foods hitting store shelves.These three provisions in the 2012 Farm Bill would grant regulatory powers solely to the United States Department of Agriculture, preventing other federal agencies from reviewing GMO applications and preventing the USDA from accepting outside money for further study. The bill ...

Published: Thursday 13 September 2012
“While the fight for GMO labeling is loud and clear, corporations and companies opposing GMO labeling, for their own profit and corrupt relations, will stop at nothing to ensure GMOs remain a secret to the public.”

You may already be fully aware of the fight surrounding the latest California GMO labeling legislation known as Prop 37, a bill which I have been very passionate about supporting over the past few months. As it currently stands in the United States, you are actually being completely kept in the dark about what’s in your food. And it may interest you to know that many pro-GMO corporations such as Monsanto intend to keep it that way.

But why are you being kept in the dark about the dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the fight against Proposition 37?  Despite the massive amount of research linking genetically modified foods to environmental and human dangers, giant corporations are shelling out millions and millions of dollars to ensure that GMOs are not labeled in the food market. Why are Americans and others being kept in the dark?

While studies continue to highlight the very ...

Published: Friday 3 August 2012
“America is suffering through the worst drought since 1950.”

 

To understand how utterly broken our society is, how hostile to sacrifice we are and how willfully ignorant we have become, you need only look at the historic drought hammering the heartland — and how our elected officials are responding to that cataclysm.

As you likely know from this arid summer, America is suffering through the worst drought since 1950. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, half of all counties in the nation are officially disaster areas — a situation that has devastated the country's supply of agriculture commodities. Consequently, food prices are expected to skyrocket, and eventually, water-dependent power plants may be forced to shut down.

This is a full-on emergency, and USDA, a key agency involved in the national security issues surrounding our food and water supply, last week responded with a minor non-binding recommendation. In its inter-office newsletter to agency employees, it suggested that those who want to conserve water could simply refrain from eating meat on Mondays.

The idea is part of the worldwide "Meatless Monday" campaign, which The New York Times notes is backed by "thousands of corporate cafeterias, restaurants and schools." In the face of a drought, it's a pragmatic notion. Cornell University researchers estimate that "producing a pound of animal protein requires, on average, about 100 times more water than producing a pound of vegetable protein." According to the U.S. Geological Survey, that means a typical hamburger requires a whopping 4,000 to 18,000 gallons of water to make.

Considering these numbers in juxtaposition to the drought, taking one day a week off from meat-eating seems like the absolute least we should be willing to do in a nation whose average citizen annually consumes an unfathomable 194 pounds of meat. And yet, in Washington, the USDA ...

Published: Sunday 26 February 2012
“This is a move to help Monsanto and other biotechnology giants squash competition and make profits.”

If you thought Monsanto’s lack of testing on their current GMO crops was bad before, prepare to now be blown away by the latest statement by the USDA. Despite links to organ damage and mutated insects, the USDA says that it is changing the rules so that genetically modified seed companies like Monsanto will get ‘speedier regulatory reviews’. With the faster reviews, there will be even less time spent on evaluating the potential dangers. Why? Because Monsanto is losing sales with longer approval terms.

The changes are expected to take full effect in March when they’re published in the Federal Register. The USDA’s goal is to cut the approval time for GMO crops in half in order to speedily implement them into the global food supply. The current USDA process takes longer than they would like due to ‘public interest, legal challenges, and the challenges associated with the advent of national organic food standards‘ 

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