European politicians are enthralled to the biofuels lobby - they are living a fantasy and it’s time to wake up to the reality of an industry driving deforestation, land grabbing and poverty, says MOLLY SCOTT CATO MEP
Hector Christie, owner of the Tapeley Park estate and farm in Devon and renowned environmental campaigner, is urging the public to join a day of action against the Roundup weedkiller. CATHERINE EARLY reports
Slowly the incidence of bTB in Cumbria has increased without any real outcry from the agricultural lobby. Why then, at the beginning of this month (August), has all of this information suddenly become news asks LESLEY DOCKSEY
Climate change its causing flooding and droughts that damage agricultural land in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. The "rice bowl" of Asia produces 57 percent of rice production for the country - including 80 percent of its exports. ROBYN WILSON met the farmers facing ruin.
There is no more heartbreaking indicator of human hardship than suicide says the author of a new report that shows the devastating impact of Global Warming on struggling Indian farmers, thousands of whom have taken their own lives over the last 30 years. G.B.S.N.P VARMA reports
The Common Agricultural Policy has come under increasing criticism as a means of transferring wealth from the taxpayer to wealthy landowners. Today it emerges that a Malaysian tycoon linked to a historic aid scandal is among the largest beneficiaries. CRISPIN DOWLER of ENEGYDESK reports
Along the Rimac River Valley of Peru, local farmers have taken the problem of water security into their own hands and embarked on a combined reforestation and water storage project, which not only provides safe water but has empowered the local community and, thanks to improving the mountainside soil stability, has reduced the risk of devastating landslides. FOREST RAY reports
How do you define a man who has been at the forefront of the environmental movement of America for over 50 years - poet, essayist, environmentalist, farmer, activist, philosopher? Wendell Berry is all these and now his life's work sits at the heart, writes HARRIET GRIFFEY, of Look and See - a newly-released film about his life and philosophy
Contamination of food grade or animal feed supplements with genetically engineered bacteria is illegal in the European Union. A German enforcement laboratory alerted EU officials to illegal genetically engineered bacterial contamination of a riboflavin supplement intended for animal feed.
As the Brexit negotiations begin, a coalition of grassroots food and farming organisations today launch ‘A People's Food Policy' calling for England to develop a more progressive food policy in advance of leaving the EU. Scotland is already in the process of adopting national food policies and is currently developing a ‘Good Food Nation Bill', while England has yet to make any progress
If you live or spend time in the UK countryside it may have been some time since you spotted the native brown hare - if you've ever seen one at all. That's because the hare relies on an increasingly disappearing biodiverse landscape for its food. LAURA BRIGGS talks to the scientists behind a new study investigating what type of planting - including bioenergy crops - will help stop hare populations from continuing to decline
President Donald Trump stunned the world yesterday (June 1, 2017) by announcing his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord - a landmark global agreement to lower greenhouse gas emissions and minimize the harm from climate change. The Conversation has assembled a panel of American academics and scientists to analyse what this dramatic move means for the planet, U.S. businesses and the world's poor...
Thousands of small farmers were forced from their lands and homes by paramilitaries in Colombia's Santa Maria mountains, writes Paula Álvarez. But now as a welcome peace allows their return from involuntary exile, they find a new enemy that has come to stay - huge plantations of oil palm that have obliterated the mixed, patchwork landscape of small fields, villages, and swathes of forest on steep-sided hills that they used to inhabit.
Ecological farming has taken root in the UK, writes Phil Moore: drawing inspiration from the past while employing the latest ideas and techniques from organic, no-dig, permaculture, agroecology and agroforestry methods. But with agricultural fields selling for up to £10,000 an acre, there's a big difficultly for many would-be eco-farmers: access to land. Now, with public support, that's a problem the Ecological Land Cooperative is determined to solve.
A huge raft of environmental reforms is promised in the Labour Party's draft manifesto, writes Oliver Tickell. Among the highlights: a ban on fracking; a clean energy policy based on renewables and efficiency; no commitment to new nuclear power; to meet our Paris Agreement obligations on climate; to give companies a legal obligation to protect the environment; to retain all EU environment laws post-Brexit; and multilateral nuclear disarmament.
Has Monsanto, dubbed the 'world's most evil corporation', turned a new leaf? It has taken the 'probably carcinogenic' glyphosate out of a new version of its market leading 'Roundup' herbicide, and replaced it with vinegar. The bad news is it's only available in Austria. That, and it may still contain toxic 'adjuvants' to increase its effectiveness.
Brazil's extreme right wing government is preparing to open up the rainforest territories of dozens of uncontacted indigenous tribes to 'free for all' development by defunding the protection they currently receive, according to information received by Survival International, which warns: 'The reality is these cuts could sanction genocide.'
Five international judges say Monsanto's activities have negatively affected individuals, communities and biodiversity, writes Claire Robinson. The Monsanto Tribunal's damning ruling denounces the company's harmful impacts on food sovereignty, agricultural production, access to nutrition, the natural environment, seed diversity, climate change, pollution and traditional cultural practices.
The government / NFU badger culling policy is based on a single study, the Randomised Badger Culling Trials (RBCT), which found that area-wide badger killing reduced TB 'breakdowns' in cattle herds. But a robust reanalysis of the RBCT data reveals that culling is entirely ineffective, writes Tom Langton. The only scientifically valid conclusion is that culling badgers has no effect on TB in cattle. Defra and Natural England must think again!
There's only one real faultline in farming, writes David R. Montgomery, and it's not the one between organic and 'conventional'. What really matters is whether farming systems are building, improving and nurturing soils - or exploiting them for short term gain. And if we want to keep humans well fed and healthy for the long term, there's only one choice to make.
The Bovine TB conference in London last week was disrupted by media reporting of scientific conflict over badger culling studies, writes ecologist Tom Langton. But the real story is the collapse of confidence in the Randomised Badger Culling Trials, used to justify the mass killing of badgers; and the emergence of reliable new TB tests. The simple solution: stop the cull, and spend the money on gamma interferon cattle TB testing.
How can we bridge the gap between ‘fast food' living and responsible consumption when mass production and a throw-away mindset still dominate the lifestyles of most people? LAURA BRIGGS has some thoughts...
Advocates claim that synthetic biology and the so-called New Breeding Techniques (NBTs) are distinct from genetic engineering (GE), write Helena Paul, Elisabeth Bücking & Ricarda Steinbrecher. In fact synthetic biology and NBTs carry similar risks to old-style GE, and even create novel hazards. The 'new GE' techniques - as they should be named - and their products deserve regulation at least as strict as those applying to GMOs.