http://www.forksoverknives.com/ | For showtimes, updates, newsletter sign up and more information. The feature film Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.
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Janez Potočnik, former European Environment Commissioner and new FFA chairman, talks about the future challenges facing the global agricultural sector.
Janez Potočnik, the newly appointed chairman of the Forum for the Future of Agriculture, gives his view to serious global transition, in which everybody will need to contribute and bear a fair share; also farmers and other owners of land, who need to rethink the way how they produce, general public the way we consume, the way we live; 1/3 of food is thrown away - this is not only immoral but also economically illogical: also 1/3 of water is wasted, 1/3 of land, 1/3 of energy, chemicals.. we need to change the policy of food production and distribution.
Trade policy review - United States of America — Twelfth Trade Policy Review of the United States had sought a better understanding of the United States' trade, economic, and investment policies, including their impact on the world economy and trade. The United States was generally commended for having one of the most open and transparent trade and investment regimes. It was also noted that with the exception of the Farm Bill, most U.S. trade policies remained broadly the same with few changes since the last review. For many Members this had both positive and negative aspects, as the United States had refrained from introducing protectionist measures in the period after the global financial crisis, yet long-standing barriers in certain sectors remained a hindrance to trade.
I hope they don't have only sanitary and phytosanitary sectors in mind with the last sentance...
According to Decision 1082/2013/EU on serious cross border health threats, the EU Member States consult each other within the Health Security Committee (HSC) and in liaison with the Commission with a view to exchanging information as regards serious cross border health threats and coordinating their response.
Information for travellers
During an audio-conference on 11 April 2014, the HSC discussed the currently ongoing outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in Western Africa and requested that information for travellers travelling to and from the affected areas should be provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Preventive measures for travellers: don't eat meat elsewhere and avoid contacts with diseased people and monkeys, forest antelopes and bats, if you travel to Guinea or Liberia.
The SmartFarmer project “Improving skills for Smartfarming as an innovative tool for rural development and economic growth” aims to create and develop a training programme, a long term superfood electronic platform and a guide book. The purpose of these outputs is to enhance the dissemination and transfer of knowledge and innovation in the specialized agricultural areas of the selected superfoods (e.g. goji berries, blueberries etc).
The project will be implemented by a consortium of 7 partners from 5 EU countries spanning from North to South of Europe (Cyprus, Spain, Latvia, Greece and Portugal). The consortium includes education and training organisations, authorities responsible for rural development, thus allowing combining different views and experiences.
The project has been funded with support from the European Commission in 2013 and 2014
Increasing the production of food in an environmentally sustainable way is a major global issue. A report produced by the UK Cabinet Office in 2008 predicted that the global population will rise to 9 billion by 2050 from a current 6.8 billion.
Issue No.54-13, 12/07/2013 FARM COUNCIL PREVIEW: Fisheries expected to dominate as Vilnius takes the reins; BIOFUELS: ENVIRONMENT MEPs WANT 5.5% CAP & ILUC ASSESSMENTS INTERNATIONAL NEWS: EU-US trade talks – SPS a stumbling block; Farm bill to be split; BRIEFS: GM imports; Boost for sheepmeat; Resource efficiency (EIP); UN food standards; TIMETABLE: The week ahead
An easy way to follow the latest developments in European agriculture, environment and trade policy - a monthly overview.
Pilot project summary: Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, 2012-2014
As part of the coordination of the pilot project “Action phase”, the Ligaris agency organized visits to each of the countries participating in the DG SANCO pilot project in 2013. These visits are intended to assess the implementation of the cooking session and interact with local teams on assessing the positive points, challenges and areas for improvement in the events.
During the month of April two main recipes were promoted: fruit tart and taboulé salad :-)
Hunger and undernutrition are amongst the most persistent global development challenges. Part of Millennium Development Goal 1 is to ‘Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger’ (UN, 2012).
I have just got an e-mail, which I am sharing: "It’s been a very dynamic quarter for Plantwise activities around the world. As you may recall, this is a global programme to improve food security and rural livelihoods by reducing crop losses.
I am pleased to attach this link to the latest Plantwise Newsletter.
In this edition:
· Ghana launches Plantwise with workshop in Accra
· European Commission pledges support to Plantwise for African food security
· National plant protection leaders share Plantwise experiences at CPM in Rome
· Data from Kenya helps to shape Plantwise knowledge bank
· China, Myanmar and CABI sign cooperation agreement to open new doors
As always, we wish to thank our donors, our 127 partner organisations worldwide, and all our staff for their tireless efforts supporting Plantwise operations.
I hope you find the Plantwise Newsletter of interest, and please feel free to share this email with colleagues."
According to IPP Media, over 8,000 people in 15 villages in Kagera region of Tanzania are in dire need of food relief following an outbreak of banana bacterial disease that has destroyed 90% of the banana crop.
Banana bacterial wilt (or “banana slim”) is easily spread through pollinating insects, tools and planting material. Disease management is notoriously difficult, often involving cultural methods that can be impractical for smallholders. One easy method of prevention involves breaking off the male flower bud using a fork-shaped stick.
Recognizing Fusarium Wilt and bacterial wilt in banana crop: When a banana plant has Fusarium wilt, the older leaves become yellow, starting at the edge of the leaf. Leaves may start to turn yellow two months after planting. Young plants may stop growing. The plant becomes sick and slowly dies. If you cut across the banana trunk, you will see a reddish brown ring on the cut surface. Sometimes the trunk splits at the base. Bacterial wilt of banana is a different disease, but bacterial wilt starts from the younger leaves, turning them yellow. The fruits ripen too soon. A sticky, yellow pus comes from the cut surface. Fruits from an infected banana have brown to dark brown colour and are rotten inside. These fruits are unsuitable for consumption by humans or animals.Read more: Xanthomonas bacterial wilt
According to Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 the development, dissemination and use of both national and Community Guides to Good Practice must be encouraged. However, these guides may be used on a voluntary basis by food business operators.
EU Guides to Good Practice
Guide to good practice on Microbiological Classification and Monitoring of Bivalve Mollusc Production and Relaying Areas
EU Guide to good hygiene practices specific to wholesale market management in the European Union
Guide to good hygiene practices for Packaged Water in Europe
Guide to good practice for Hygiene and the application of the HACCP principles in the production of natural sausage casings Updated 29-02-2012
Guide to good manufacturing practice for "liquid, concentrated, frozen and dried egg products" used as food ingredients (non-ready to eat egg products)
National Guides to Good Practice
Guidelines on the registration of national guides to good practice in accordance with Article 8 of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 have been developed and enable Member States to initially submit only certain information concerning their national guides to the Commission (SCFCAH consensus of 15 July 2008).
A Register for National Guides to Good Practice has been just upadted by the Commission to make them available to Member States and food business operators.
Dr Sharma, director of plant biosecurity at the Department of Agriculture and Food in western Australia, said the increase in rapid transport systems and movement of people and goods, accompanied by climate change has increased the threat of new pests impacting on food chain.
More than 30 per cent of the world's food - enough to feed more than 2 billion people - is currently lost in the food value chain.
European Commission - A pilot project is an initiative of an experimental nature designed to test the feasibility and usefulness of action. It is meant to try different approaches to address a problem and identify good practices for the benefit of possible future initiatives in the area of nutrition and physical exercise.
"My healthy family”: EU Project to encourage children, older people and pregnant women in Hungary and Poland to eat more fruit and vegetables.
“We Love Eating”: Project to promote healthy lifestyles across Europe
European Commission - Press Release details page - European Commission - Statement Brussels, 13 January 2015
The European Parliament's vote in favour of the legislative proposal on GMO cultivation brings us one step closer to providing Member States with tools to decide on cultivation of EU authorised GMOs on their territory, based on reasons other than risk on health and the environment.
The agreement meets Member States' consistent calls since 2009, to have the final say on whether or not GMOs can be cultivated on their territory, in order to better take into account their national context. The agreement retains a strong risk assessment and authorisation system for GMOs guaranteeing a high and uniform level of safety throughout the EU. I fully trust that this legislation will be endorsed in the coming weeks by the Council, allowing the Member States to start exercising their extended capacities to decide on GMO cultivation as from spring this year.
European Parliament and the Council managed to move beyond their divergences and after 4 years of intense debates on this issue agree on the EU policy regarding GMO crops in EU Memeber States. But on the other hand negotiations between EU and USA can soon bring more GMO food fo Eruopean market via in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement:
Researchers found that T. delbrueckii, a species of yeast used by humans for over four millennia, evolved according to the ways in which we used it.
Useful dendrogram of four clear clusters of yeast strains collected from food and drink samples; grape/wine group contains 27 strains isolated from grape habitats in the major wine-producing regions of the world: Europe, California, Australia, New Zealand, and South America.
Sweetmyx, a new ingredient by Senomyx Inc. (SNMX), received approval for foods and beverages, clearing the way for PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) to use it to make lower-sugar beverages taste sweeter.
The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association’s expert panel has determined that Sweetmyx is generally recognized as safe as an ingredient, San Diego-based Senomyx said today in a statement. PepsiCo has the exclusive right to use the product, a so-called flavor modifier, in many nonalcoholic drinks under a 2010 agreement.
Pepsi Cola has never been healthy drink anyway. See also:
Cilantro, better known as coriander in the Mediterranean region, may be an excellent source of minerals, such as potassium, calcium, manganese, iron and magnesium, but it's an even more incredible source of vitamins A and K, as a simple 100g daily intake will strongly exceed the body's required need for such vitamins. Cilantro is also filled with important volatile oils and numerous antioxidant flavonoids that can help reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
Uncover Nutrition And Natural Therapies That Really Work - is it thrue? Might be. How to distinguish between good and bad advices. What to believe? Food safety policy should also be more strict at declarations and marketing of "healthy" food.
The European Parliament confirmed Neven Mimica as the Commissioner for Consumer Policy on Wednesday.
After the Council of the European Union formally confirms the European Parliament's decision, Mimica will take over EU consumer policy on July 1, remaining in the post until the end of the mandate of the current European Commission on October 31, 2014.
In order for Mimica to become a commissioner, the current Health and Consumers general directorate is to be split into two. The current commissioner, Tonio Borg, will hold the post of health commissioner while Mimica will take over consumer policy.
During his hearing at parliament Neven Mimica emphasised how important consumers in the European Union would be for the economy. The volume of consumer spending would account for 56 percent of the gross domestic product. Markets had to work for the consumer and not vice versa. Consumer businesses had to be safe and it should be possible for everybody to buy at reasonable prices. He appealed to solidarity to enable the realisation of a strong consumer policy. Even though his mandate would only cover a short term, he was optimistic that he could bring about some changes.
Croatia will become the 28th EU member state on July 1. After Slovenia, which became the EU Memeber State in 2004, this will be the second ex Yougoslave republic, joining the European Union.
The Emerging Ecological Paradigm for Agriculture and Scholarship
Four lectures organised by the State University of New Jersey and given by:
- Xenia Morin
- Robert Goodman
- Randy Gaugler
- Karl Maramorosch
How to produce enough food for increasing world population taking into account ecological imperative of agricultural production with limited land use and minimal use of fertilisers and pesticides? Answers are not all available, but discussion very well pointed out, why institutions and science are needed.
Karl Maramorosch is professor emeritus, a living legend, a scientist, who linked plant pathology and entomology in his pioneer molecular work, studying virus and phytoplasma transmission by insect vectors since 1956. At his age of 98 he is still present at university and scientific events all over the world.
The European Commission has adopted on Monday 6 May 2013 a package of measures to strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain.
The package of measures provide a modernised and simplified, more risked-based approach to the protection of health and more efficient control tools to ensure the effective application of the rules guiding the operation of the food chain. Five draft regulations are put into adoption procedure with other EU institutions, including the European Parliament and the Council. The main four are foreseen to be adopted in next 2 years:
- Official controls,
- Animal health,
- Plant health,
- Plant reproductive material (including seeds)
The current body of EU legislation covering the food chain consists of almost 70 pieces of legislation. The package of reform will cut this down to 5 pieces of legislation and will also reduce the red-tape on processes and procedures for farmers, breeders and food business operators (producers, processors and distributors) to make it easier for them to carry out their profession.
The package is particularly relevant in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.
"Restoring the trust and confidence of our citizens and trading partners is key given that the agri-food industry is the second largest economic sector in the EU, employing over 48 million people and is worth some €750 billion a year," he said.
"Let me highlight three issues that will be dealt with in the context of the proposal with respect to this issue as proposed in the control regulation :
Firstly: sanctions for operators who commit fraud will be commensurate to the economic gain as a result of fraud
Secondly: the legislation now enables the Commission to require testing and controls in areas such as food fraud and not only to recommend as has currently been the case
Thirdly: the legislation now requires that official controls should also be unannounced in order to strengthen our tools to fight fraud."
The legislation requires that official controls should also be unannounced in order to strengthen the tools to fight fraud.
On 5 February, 2013, in Rome, the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and representatives from the European Commission’s (EC) DG Sanco and DG Trade met to continue their discussions on issues of common interest and collaboration.
The Secretariat and the EC spoke about the progress of current projects concerning capacity building in the field, electronic phytosanitary certification (ePhyto) developments, and the ongoing Implementation Review and Support System (IRSS). Sustainable support of such issues will lead to a more transparent and collaborative working environment.
The professional fruit cultivation is now being confronted with new demands from the food trade. They demand that the number of active substances in crop protection agents should be limited and that the maximal allowance of residue of crop protection agents on fruit has to be lowered. Scientists of European fruit cultivation institutes believe it will endanger the sustainable fruit cultivation in Central Europe, reports the German website Gabot.de.
In a joint declaration scientists from the German institutes KOB-Bavendorf and ESTEBURG and of the Austrian testing centre Laimburg pointed out that these demands are not scientifically attainable and in the interest of the consumers and the sustainable production of healthy foods is even counter-productive, a press release states
FreshPlaza (RT @Bayer4Crops: Scientists: Less crop protection for fruit not attainable.
Paddy* (rice), as a kind of vivo seed, some irreversible changes that influence its eating quality could happen during the storing. As it well known, there have many external factors can either promote or delay such deterioration. Hence, the study on the stored paddy should be able to provide some scientific instructions on the related storage. Based on the investigation of one grain reserve, we employ an artificial climate chamber to simulate the storage of paddy in our research. The selection, identification, growth and prevention of aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus, and the harm caused by the invasion of Aspergillus flavus on the storage and germination of paddy was studied.
*A paddy field is a flooded parcel of arable land used for growing rice and other semiaquatic crops.
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