User: flenvcenter Topic: Food-Independent
Category: Food Security :: Hunger
Last updated: Jul 29 2016 20:49 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Dangerous Liaisons: ChemChina's Bid for Syngenta 29.7.2016 Truthout - All Articles
Protesters in Munich, Germany, demonstrate against "patents on life" by companies such as Syngenta and Monsanto, January 20, 2016. (Photo: Michaela Handrek-Rehle / Campact ) We all love to hate Monsanto. We also know that Monsanto isn't the only poison-maker trying to pass itself off as a "farmer-friendly producer of food to feed the world." Monsanto belongs to an exclusive club of dominant pesticide makers. That club, which includes Dow, Dupont, Bayer, Syngenta and BASF, is about to get a lot smaller. And a lot more dangerous. Bayer has been trying for months  to buy  Monsanto. Dow and Dupont are in talks  to merge . And Switzerland-based Syngenta may soon  be owned  by ChemChina. It's bad enough that  less than a dozen multinational corporations  (including Monsanto, Dupont, Bayer and Syngenta) control nearly 70 percent of the global seed market. If these mergers and buyouts go through, that number will shrink even further. The recent merger and acquisition in the seed and chemical (why are the words ...
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Indigenous Villages in Honduras Overcome Hunger at Schools 20.7.2016 Truthout - All Articles
Students at the "República de Venezuela" School in the indigenous Lenca village of Coloaca in western Honduras, where they have a vegetable garden to grow produce and at the same time learn about the importance of a healthy and nutritious diet. (Credit: Thelma Mejía/IPS) Barely 11-years-old and in the sixth grade of primary school, this student dreams of becoming a farmer in order to produce food so that the children in his community never have to go hungry. Josué Orlando Torres of the indigenous Lenca people lives in a remote corner of the west of Honduras. He is part of a success story in this village of Coalaca, population 750, in the municipality of Las Flores in the department (province) of Lempira. Five years ago a Sustainable School Feeding Programme (PAES) was launched in this area. It has improved local children's nutritional status and enjoys plenty of local, governmental and international participation. Torres is proud of his school, named for the Republic of Venezuela, where 107 students are ...
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2016 World Food Prize: More Genewashing? 5.7.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Yet again, the World Food Prize has lent its global pulpit to the biotech brigade. On Tuesday, June 28, Drs. Maria Andrade, Robert Mwanga, Jan Low, and Howarth Bouis were crowned the 2016 World Food Prize Laureates during a ceremony at the U.S. State Department. Titled "Biofortification Pioneers", their combined efforts have been heralded as potentially impacting over 10 million rural poor across Africa, Asia and Latin America through biofortification, the process of scientifically breeding vitamins and nutrients into staple crops. The significance of two African World Food Prize Laureates cannot be understated. They are, as the website states, "working on solutions to tackle malnutrition in Africa, for Africa". But financial sponsors of the technology have largely come from outside of Africa -- the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, the United States Department of Agriculture, the United Kingdom Department of International Development, the International Fertilizer Group and large ...
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Mass Fish Deaths in Vietnam Highlight the Country's Press Freedom Problem 3.7.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
MELBOURNE, Australia -- The stink from Vietnam's fish kill scandal -- which left some 70 tons of dead fish scattered across the beaches of four of the country's provinces and fishermen out of work -- is symptomatic of something greater than worries about food security and the environment: access to information and the ability to distribute it. On June 30, almost three months since the mass fish deaths began, Vietnam's newspapers all began printing the same story : Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp., a subsidiary of Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Group, blamed by many for the incident, had accepted responsibility for the industrial pollution that had caused the environmental fiasco and would pay $500 million in compensation. The government of Vietnam, which had been silent for much of this, also noted the company was responsible due to a toxic spill. Earlier in the month there was progress towards a verdict but no confirmation, as Tuoi Tre newspaper wrote: On June 2, the government held a press meeting to announce ...
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1 In 6 U.S. Households Didn't Have Enough Money For Food Last Year: Report 2.7.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
One in six households struggled to buy food last year, according to a new report. While the figures are “unacceptable,” they mark the sharpest decline since such data has been made available. More than 170,000 households were surveyed last year and asked if they had trouble at any point gathering funds to buy food. Of those surveyed, 16 percent said they couldn’t afford food at times, according to data collected by Gallup and released by the Food Research & Action Center section as part of its new report, “How Hungry Is America?”  That was a significant drop from 2013, when 18.9 percent of respondents said they couldn’t afford food. Gallup began collecting the food insecurity data in 2008 during the height of the Great Recession. The statistics have improved thanks to declines in unemployment, increases in the share of eligible families receiving SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) and insurance affordability under the Affordable Care Act, among other considerations. While the improvements are ...
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Are Venezuela's food shortages a sign that food security is still a risk? 1.7.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
From technological advancements in food production to our increasingly interconnected globe, many factors have reduced the risk of wide-scale famines. However, the current food shortages in Venezuela, which have plunged the nation into chaos, highlight that the threat of world hunger is not over for good. To discuss the future of food security, we talked to Stephen Devereux , a development economist from the University of Sussex. ResearchGate: In this article , researcher Dr. de Waal argues that the time of famines may be over. What's your view on this? Stephen Devereux: I think Alex de Waal is probably right that the time of catastrophic famines is over, meaning those famines that used to kill hundreds of thousands or even millions of people. But that doesn't mean that we won't have more minor and moderate scale famines in the future. It is important to remember that we have had quite a few famines since the last 'great famine' in Ethiopia in 1984 that Alex mentions in his article. Already in the 21st ...
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Don't Believe This Facebook Food Stamp Rumor 30.6.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- A rumor that President Barack Obama will give a thousand bucks to everyone on food stamps has circulated so widely that one state government posted an official statement denying it. "This rumor is 100% false," the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services said on its website this week.  The rumor, different versions of which circulated on Facebook, claimed Obama would give $1,000 in nutrition assistance benefits if they called a number on the back of the debit cards used to distribute benefits. The story  earned a debunking from Snopes.com , a website that dispels urban legends, email chain letters and fake news stories. Snopes writer Kim LaCapria said the site was inundated with emails last week asking if the rumor was true.  LaCapria said this particular rumor is unusual in that it seemed to have spread organically on Facebook without having been initially made up by a fake news website. Snopes has previously debunked fake news stories claiming that everyone on welfare will get a ...
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USDA Says Paul LePage's Food Stamp Freakout Will Harm Children 23.6.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is putting vulnerable people in his state at risk with his food stamp crusade, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday.  In a recent letter to the Obama administration, LePage said that if the federal government won't let him stop Mainers from using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program debit cards to buy candy and soda, then the state will wash its hands of the SNAP program altogether and let the federal government deal with it.  USDA spokesman Matt Herrick says the agency can't just step in and do the state's job of distributing the federal benefit to low-income individuals and families.  "We don't have the authority or the funding to administer SNAP at the state level," Herrick told The Huffington Post.  In other words, if the state government won't provide nutrition assistance in Maine, no one will. Such a situation would be unprecedented.  "So what this means in real terms, for real-world people, is that children suffer, they ...
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Climate change may soon diminish crop yields 22.6.2016 TreeHugger
Rising temperatures are posing a threat to global food security.
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Paul LePage Threatens To Drop Food Stamps Because Of His Soda Freakout 22.6.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) wants to wash his hands of the federal food stamp program because beneficiaries eat so much filthy junk food.  LePage told the Obama administration that he'd end the state's administration of food stamps if the U.S. Department of Agriculture won't let him decide which foods Mainers can buy with their benefits.  “It’s time for the federal government to wake up and smell the energy drinks,” LePage wrote in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Doubtful that it will, I will be pursuing options to implement reform unilaterally or cease Maine’s administration of the food stamp program altogether," LePage wrote.  States distribute the benefits but the federal government sets the rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which serves roughly 44 million Americans nationwide, including nearly 200,000 in Maine.  LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett told The Huffington Post in an email that LePage doesn't want to end SNAP benefits in Maine, just that he wants to ...
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Women lead the fight against corporate agriculture around the world 16.6.2016 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
June 16, 2016 Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming. Around the world, women are pushing back against GMOs and corporate agriculture and building a food system that promotes health and justice for ...
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Pathways of Transition to Agroecological Food Systems 16.6.2016 Commondreams.org Views
Adam Parsons

An alternative vision of farming and food systems has long been upheld by civil society groups and small-scale producers around the world, based on the science of agroecology and the broader framework of food sovereignty. But while many reports and studies have shown how less intensive, diversified and sustainable farming methods can have far better outcomes than today’s corporate-dominated model of industrial agriculture, the question remains as to how we can make the shift towards agroecological systems on a global scale.

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Feeding A Hungry Urban World 15.6.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Co-authored by Doug Bereuter It's time to update what we know about global food security. Those familiar with the dialogue will know that the year 2050 marks an important threshold. By then, the planet will have swollen to nine billion people, and we'll have to dramatically increase food production in order to feed them. Some numbers that may be less familiar are these: by that same year, Africa's population will be 56% urban, up from 40% now. In Asia, we'll see a similar rise from 48% today to 64%. Here's another, perhaps more shocking figure: One trillion dollars. That's the estimated value by 2030 for the African agriculture and food sector. For a continent that is often not associated with prosperity, American agricultural producers and businesses will find significant opportunities due to rising demand for U.S. products, know-how, and services. These things are linked. By 2050, an additional 2.5 billion people will live in urban areas. With larger urban populations comes changing food demand: higher ...
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The Hunger of Reproach: Is There Hope for Our Food System? 11.6.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
I once sat with farmers at a long table during a Bizkaia winter, warming up with a flaming carajillo , trying to keep my wits in the steep, unforgiving drizzle of the Basque country. A grizzled sheepherder listened wordlessly to my proposals for action-research on how farmers practice food sovereignty, a call for the radical democratization of the food system. Suddenly, he slapped his hand on the table; "Stop studying the poor!" he bellowed, "Study the rich!" His meaning was clear: "We farmers can take care of ourselves if you get the rich off our backs." These days, everyone is concerned about income inequality and the mega-rich . Presidential candidates, voters across the political spectrum - even Hollywood and corporate billionaires are talking about it. David Rieff's new book, The Reproach of Hunger: Food, Justice and Money in the Twenty-first Century adds to the conversation by offering a wide-ranging analysis of how the rich define "progress" and why their proposals to end hunger are based more on ...
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Mayors Are Changing the Way We Think About Food 10.6.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Citizens in most of the world's cities might expect their mayor to take responsibility for collecting waste, running public transport, or regulating new development, but they might not consider food to be an issue for urban local government. Yet in October 2015, when Mayor of Milan Giuliano Pisapia called upon his fellow mayors to sign the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact , 120 cities from around the world, including London, Mexico City, Quito and Shanghai, chose to join forces in an effort to build sustainable and equitable urban food systems. This incredible show of commitment by mayors is an indication of how critical food production and consumption is becoming to protecting our climate, and the health and well-being of urban citizens. Historically, efforts on food systems focused mainly on production (largely rural), rather than consumption. As urbanization increases so too will the main source of consumption -- cities, and particularly, megacities -- and the urgent need for a more comprehensive approach ...
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Seven Myths About GMOs Debunked 26.5.2016 Truthout - All Articles
Myth 1: GMOs are an "invention" of corporations, and therefore can be patented and owned. Living organisms, including seeds, thus become the "intellectual property" of the GMO industry. Using these property rights, corporations can forcibly prevent farmers from saving and sharing seeds. Farmers harvest crops in Chennai, India. Corporations that produce GMOs are not interested in a free market; they are interested in creating a monopoly over GMOs. (Photo: Vinoth Chandar ; Edited: LW / TO) A global battle is being fought over the future of the world's food. Hear from the women on the front lines in Seed Sovereignty, Food Security: Women in the Vanguard of the Fight Against GMOs and Corporate Agriculture. These seed keepers, food producers, scientists, activists and scholars are committed to building a food system that is better aligned with ecological processes, human health and justice for all. Order this amazing book by donating to Truthout today! The following is excerpted from Vandana Shiva's foreword ...
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Small Farmers Are Foundation to Food Security, Not Corporations Like Monsanto 23.5.2016 Commondreams.org Views
Vandana Shiva

May 22 has been declared International Biodiversity Day by the United Nations. It gives us an opportunity to become aware of the rich biodiversity that has been evolved by our farmers as co-creators with nature. It also provides an opportunity to acknowledge the threats to our biodiversity and our rights from IPR monopolies and monocultures.

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"The Power of Pulses: Saving the World with Peas, Beans, Chickpeas, Favas & Lentils" 23.5.2016 TreeHugger
This engaging and informative guide will teach you how to cultivate and eat pulses, and why this is beneficial for everyone, including the planet.
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House GOP Is Determined To Make It Harder For Poor Kids To Get Free School Lunches 19.5.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
House Republicans appear determined to advance an aggressive rollback of a program credited with helping low-income children get free school lunches. The Committee on Education and the Workforce on Wednesday advanced a child nutrition reauthorization bill introduced by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Indiana) to the House floor. The committee approved the legislation along party lines, 20-14, with Rep. Dave Brad (R-Virginia) the only Republican to join Democrats opposing it. The legislation, called the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 , has been widely panned by nutrition and hunger groups, which say it would reverse 2010 improvements to the national school lunch program. A letter opposing the bill released this week by the Center for Science in the Public Interest was signed by more than 750 local, state and national groups. Criticisms have centered on proposed changes to the community eligibility provision , which currently allows high-poverty school districts, with 40 percent or more of their ...
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Sowing the Seeds of Africa's Success 19.5.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Africa's transformation lies in the continent's rich soil. If we protect the ecosystems that sustain us we can lift Africans out of poverty, achieve food security, build climate resilience, create wealth and end hunger THERE is an old Nigerian proverb that says "fine words do not produce food". So I will keep my words as simple and clear as possible. Africa is facing a harsh reality. One in every two people on the continent lives in extreme poverty. In 15 years, most of the world's poor will reside here in Africa. Sadly, as I write, about 240 million people go to bed hungry every night while malnutrition kills more than 50% of the African children who die before they reach the age of five. These stark statistics are hard to grapple with. But imagine for a moment the pain of a mother who cannot feed her new-born daughter with the proper food she needs to live beyond the age of five. Imagine the mother who toils all day in the field but still goes to bed with a stomach aching from hunger because she cannot ...
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