Food Policy News
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Food Policy News
EU and global policy concerning the production, distribution, and consumption of food
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Ag Answers: Open house to showcase careers, advances in plant pathology and ag sciences

Ag Answers: Open house to showcase careers, advances in plant pathology and ag sciences | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

"Feeding the World in 2050: Career Opportunities for Future Scientists," hosted by the department of Plant Pathology, will emphasize the wide array of degree programs and career opportunities in plant pathology and agricultural sciences, said Anne Dorrance, a plant pathologist with joint appointments with OSU Extension and OARDC.

 

RT @Ag_Answers: Open house to showcase careers, advances in plant pathology and #ag sciences http://t.co/QRZafAGb #OSU...

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Foreign Corporations Scrambling To Buy African Land, Raising Food Security Concerns MintPress

Foreign Corporations Scrambling To Buy African Land, Raising Food Security Concerns MintPress | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

(MintPress)–The Spain-based group Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN), recently released a study of 416 recent land grabbing deals across 66 countries in which some 35 million hectares of land have been sold or leased to foreign investors, including those from the US.

The International Land Coalition (ILC) reported that between 2000 and 2010, roughly 203 million hectares of land were leased or sold in developing countries, mainly in Africa, to foreign investors from the US, China, the UK, and other countries. “This land area is equivalent to over eight times the size of the United Kingdom,” the ILC said in a separate analysis of land grabs released last January.

 

Foreign investors have been scouting out cheap arable land in developing countries for years, but land grabs have become much more popular since the global food crisis in 2008. While developing countries like those in the Horn of Africa continue to suffer from famine, armed conflict, and droughts, foreign corporations, governments, and fund managers have swept in to secure large land holdings on offshore farms to ensure food security and oftentimes for speculation.

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AEI Calls for Single Food Safety Agency, Better Foodborne Illness Surveillance

AEI Calls for Single Food Safety Agency, Better Foodborne Illness Surveillance | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

AEI Calls for Single Food Safety Agency, Better Foodborne Illness Surveillance ...

 

Merge the food safety functions of USDA and FDA? For example, policymakers could merge the FSIS and the FDA to allow for a better allocation of resources and exploit potential return to scales. The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative (to say the least) think tank, has just issued a report on reforming the farm bill to ensure a safer food system.

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Forks Over Knives Online

Forks Over Knives Online | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

Watch Forks Over Knives Documentary Online

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 ...

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Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

The European Commission's Horizon 2020 is a framework document. The proposal is divided into three priority areas: Excellent Science; Industrial Leadership; Societal Challenges. In addition the roles of the JRC and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) are specified.

 

In 2011 the European Commission drafted proposals for a Regulation to establish the development of the next Framework Programme to replace the Framework Programme 7 (FP7) which was coming to an end. This was entitled Horizon 2020. The European Commission has agreed the proposals and it is expected that final agreement of the European Parliament will be reached in 2013, with the launch of the first calls expected in 2014.

 

The continuation of identifying research priorities and communicating these priorities to DG Research and Innovation, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) as well as the Member States is an aspect of European Food Safety Authority's Science Strategy relating to the strengthening the scientific evidence for risk assessment and risk monitoring. Contributing to the developing Horizon 2020 programme will be integral in meeting the objectives in this area.

 

Within the proposal Part III, Societal Challenges relates directly to the policy priorities and societal challenges identified in the Europe 2020 Strategy. One of the main objectives in this part focuses on “Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research, and the bio economy” with the specific objective “to secure sufficient supplies of safe and high quality food and other bio-based products, by developing productive and resource-efficient primary production systems, fostering related ecosystem services, along side competitive and low carbon supply chains.” Plant health with research on harmful organisms fits to this safe food reference in the proposal. The broad lines of activities under this part include „sustainable and competitive agri-food sector for a safe and healthy diet‟.

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New institute focuses on food security - Farm Weekly

New institute focuses on food security - Farm Weekly | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

FOOD security will be the main focus of the newly-developed International Institute of Agri-Food Security (IIAFS). IIAFS is an initiative from Curtin University. IIFAS director Professor Janet Bornman said part of the research program was to increase farmer efficiency through the development of a more robust cropping regime.

"One part of that is how we can use drought, extreme temperatures and lack of soil nutrients to make plants more robust and healthy to eat," she said. 

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Wheat Gains as Freezing Weather in Europe May Curb Production -

Wheat Gains as Freezing Weather in Europe May Curb Production - | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

Will the cold in Europe and in Russia and Ukraine influence grain prices?

By Tony C. Dreibus, Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Temperatures reached minus 15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) in France’s Alsace and Lorraine regions yesterday, according to forecaster Meteo France. In northern Germany, where some areas lack snow cover, soil temperatures have dropped below minus 8 degrees Celsius, Deutscher Wetterdienst said. Cold weather in the so-called Black Sea region also has hurt crops.

Soil temperatures dropped to minus 20 degrees Celsius for more than two days in the Dnipropetrovsk region, where 44 percent of planted grain failed to emerge after an autumn drought, Adamenko said by telephone from Kiev.

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Eco-Farming or Agro-ecology can double food production in 10 years, says new UN report

GENEVA – Small-scale farmers can double food production within 10 years in critical regions by using ecological methods, a new UN report shows. Based on an extensive review of the recent scientific literature, the study calls for a fundamental shift towards agro ecology as a way to boost food production and improve the situation of the poorest.

 

“To feed 9 billion people in 2050, we urgently need to adopt the most efficient farming techniques available,” says Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food and author of the report. “Today’s scientific evidence demonstrates that agro ecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production where the hungry live -- especially in unfavorable environments.”

 

Agro ecology applies ecological science to the design of agricultural systems that can help put an end to food crises and address climate-change and poverty challenges. It enhances soils productivity and protects the crops against pests by relying on the natural environment such as beneficial trees, plants, animals and insects.

 

“To date, agro ecological projects have shown an average crop yield increase of 80 per cent in 57 developing countries, with an average increase of 116 per cent for all African projects,” Mr. De Schutter says. “Recent projects conducted in 20 African countries demonstrated a doubling of crop yields over a period of 3-10 years.”

 

“Conventional farming relies on expensive inputs, fuels climate change and is not resilient to climatic shocks. It simply is not the best choice anymore today,” Mr. De Schutter stresses. “A large segment of the scientific community now acknowledges the positive impacts of agro ecology on food production, poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation -- and this is what is needed in a world of limited resources. Malawi, a country that launched a massive chemical fertilizer subsidy program a few years ago, is now implementing agro ecology, benefiting more than 1.3 million of the poorest people, with maize yields increasing from 1 ton/ha to 2-3 tons/ha.”

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Landsat Science: monitoring of global food production by satellites

Landsat Science: monitoring of global food production by satellites | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

Landsat satellites provide repetitive coverage of continental Earth surfaces in the visible, near-infrared, short-wave, and thermal infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.


A series of Landsat satellites has been continuously in orbit since 1972, collecting an invaluable time sequence of global imagery that records decades of land-use and land-cover changes. The recent decision by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to provide Landsat imagery free of charge has led to an explosion in applications, enabling unprecedented study of global deforestation, changes in cropping systems and irrigation practices, and conversion of land from its natural state to managed or urban use.

Today, the continuity of this valuable historical record is under threat. At present, only Landsat 7 is still collecting data, but at degraded capacity due to a component failure in 2003. Landsat 8 is scheduled for launch by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) no earlier than January 2013. Thus, much of the 2012 growing season will have limited coverage by Landsat imagery, a first since the early 1970s.

Landsat's thermal and optical sensors provide invaluable high-resolution (30 to 120 meters) information for monitoring global production of food and fiber, crop health, available soil moisture, and early warning of drought.

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EUROPA - Plant health: EU steps up assistance to help fight dangerous organisms

EUROPA - Plant health: EU steps up assistance to help fight dangerous organisms | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

European Commission - Plant health:

 

EU steps up assistance to help fight dangerous organisms. In November 2011 the European Union earmarked 19 million euros to co-finance programmes in seven Member States aiming to combat organisms harmful to plants and to prevent them from spreading further in the Union and thus from having sever consequences on the internal market and environment.

 

Most of the funds (€6 million) will be devoted to the control of the outbreaks in Portugal of pinewood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus), which is a microscopic nematode attacking coniferous trees. European coniferous species are highly susceptible and the pest could devastate the European pine forests. An additional €4 million financing of the actions will assist to contain pinewood nematode within the existing demarcated zone. This, in turn, will help to safeguard the territory of the other Member States and protect Union trade interests in relation to third countries.

 

€1.1 million will be made available to Spain to control the island apple snail (Pomacea insularum), one of the largest freshwater snails, which attacks rice plots and can also have devastating effects on natural wetlands. The size of the potentially endangered rice area in the EU is 420.000 hectares. Up to now, there is only one known outbreak in the EU, in the Ebro Delta (Catalonia).

 

Money will also be allocated to control two types of beetles in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands – the Asian longhorn beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) and the Chinese longhorn beetle (Anoplophora chinensis). Both insects attack a wide range of harwood plant species and were introduced from Asia. Moreover, funds will be made available to control the red palm weevil (Rynchophorus ferrugineus) in Cyprus and Malta, which attacks palm trees.

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Hard To Swallow: A Western Recipe For Improving Food Safety In China - Worldcrunch

Hard To Swallow: A Western Recipe For Improving Food Safety In China - Worldcrunch | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

Hard To Swallow: A Western Recipe For Improving Food Safety In ChinaWorldcrunchBy Li Jun BEIJING – Food safety has become one of China's biggest public concerns in recent years.

To ensure food safety by counting only on administrative supervision is to start out with a handicap. For instance, China has up to half a million major food producers, more than three million independent food business entities, and 200 million farmers.

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Food security and agriculture - the missing part of the picture

Food security and agriculture - the missing part of the picture | Food Policy News | Scoop.it
It’s been very clear – from the submissions to the Rio+20 compilation document, the
statements at Rio+20 preparatory meetings, and in numerous research papers- that food security and sustainable agriculture need serious attention at the Rio+20 Conference in June. A commitment to resilient and equitable food system must be the goal.

Via CGIAR Climate
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India’s Food Security Challenges

India’s Food Security Challenges | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

In the original article Steven Forrest (2011) said: "Agriculture is very important to India, employing 55% of its population and providing 16.5% of its annual GDP. The industry as a whole is worth US$ 17.5 million alone in exports." Read more on India’s Food Security Challenges.

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Common Bean Productivity Research for Global Food Security Competitive Grants Program

Common Bean Productivity Research for Global Food Security Competitive Grants Program | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

The National Institutes of Food and Agriculture is set to administer funds in the amount of $4,500,000. The NIFA strongly encourages the applicants to concentrate on the following bean production research (BPR) areas:

a) Reducing Production Constraints from Soil Borne Pathogens - Soil borne pathogen pressure on common bean is considered a significant constraint to bean production. Such pathogens and associated root rots already reduce production in areas with high rainfall, and as instances of rainfall increases, the issue is deemed to be more limiting.

b) Improving Transformation Technologies - The process of successful transformation of the bean has always been very much limited. The program organizers perceive that the development new methodologies and approaches in the area of transformation technology is very much essential in removing the roadblocks to transformation.

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Forests and food security feature

Forests and food security feature | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

CIFOR blog: Forests are a nutritional bounty - virtual natural supermarkets for 1 billion of the world's poorest people. And as the world's population is expected to balloon to 9 billion people by 2050, it is imperative that we figure out how to feed the global population while maintaining the world's very important forest cover. We hope you enjoy this new multimedia feature that talks about some of the interesting ways that people around the world are promoting both forest conservation and food security.

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Can organic food feed the world? New study sheds light on debate over organic vs. conventional agriculture

Can organic food feed the world? New study sheds light on debate over organic vs. conventional agriculture | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

Can organic agriculture feed the world? Although organic techniques may not be able to do the job alone, they do have an important role to play in feeding a growing global population while minimizing environmental damage, according to researchers at McGill University and the University of Minnesota.

 

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Key Conference Session: Science-based policy actions needed to achieve food security under a changing climate | CGIAR Climate

Key Conference Session: Science-based policy actions needed to achieve food security under a changing climate | CGIAR Climate | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

Planet under Pressure Conference, 28. March, 2012. #planet2012


The Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change synthesized existing research to produce a set of specific policy recommendations for achieving food security in the context of climate change.


The final report of the Commission will be released on 28 March, at a special session at the Planet Under Pressure conference in London, UK. The Conference will engage participants to identify further opportunities to integrate recommended policy actions and investments into key venues.


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Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Data | Food+Tech Connect

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Data | Food+Tech Connect | Food Policy News | Scoop.it
Yesterday, the USDA launched Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF) Compass, a new digital report that details USDA support for local and regional food projects.
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US and China sign five year agriculture agreement on food safety, security « Population Matters

The United States and China signed a five year agreement on food security, sustainable agriculture, and food safety at an agricultural symposium in Iowa.


The agreement was largely focused food security and agricultural sustainability issues – China has 1.3 billion people to feed, and is increasingly relying on imports – but food safety was also a key part of the document, which [U.S. Department of Agriculture] says will “guide the two countries’ agricultural relationship for the next 5 years.”

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Ukrainian Agriculture Ministry Advocates Bolstering Efforts To Counteract Illegal Turnover Of Foodstuffs

Ukrainian Agriculture Ministry Advocates Bolstering Efforts To Counteract Illegal Turnover Of Foodstuffs | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

The Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Supplies Mykola Prysiazhniuk underlined importance of fight against contraband and gave a task to the State Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service to step up struggle against illegal turnover of products for ensuring safety of the country's food market.

The Minister underlined, quality and safety of agricultural commodities that are exported and realised at the home market need tough control, which is possible only with a package approach towards the management system in the provinces.
Following results of the panel meeting, the Veterinary Service says in a statement that an urgent issue remains expansion of the market outlets for animal derived materials, specifically in the European Union.


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The Invasivore Movement: 4 Invasive Species That Taste Great

The Invasivore Movement: 4 Invasive Species That Taste Great | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

The most effective method for dealing with the peskiest of invasive species: Turn them into dinner.

Sarah Parson described how Puerto Rico is giving new meaning to the phrase “eating your problems.” Officials recently unveiled an aggressive plan to eliminate some of the island’s peskiest invasive species: native iguanas, invasive Asian carp from China, fast-growing Japanese vine plant 'Kudzu' and invasive signal crayfish.

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European Commission - Environment - Consultations - Sustainable Consumption and Production

The European Commission wants to gather views and additional information on the possible introduction of EU wide measures related to Sustainable Consumption and Production.

In a period from 11.01.2012 to 03.04.2012 the consultation also looks at Green Public Procurement (GPP), the Environmental Footprint of Products (PEF) and the Environmental Footprint of Organisations (OEF). The consultation offers an opportunity to all interested parties to express their views, to give their opinion on the proposed policy options.

Contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities are welcomed by the Commission. 

(EC Environment via Facebook)

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Europe’s pesticide and food safety regulators – Who do they work for?

Claire Robinson asks this question based on report published by Earth Open Source in April 2011:

"The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is charged with giving scientific advice to the regulators of pesticides, genetically modified (GM) foods, and food contaminants and additives, in the interests of protecting public health. But some prominent EFSA experts and officials have conflicts of interest, holding positions in organisations funded by the same companies whose products they help regulate."

 

EFSA has its own policy on declaration of interests for experts, giving their independent scientific advice at the level of risk assessment, done in Parma (Italy). Their reports and opinions are indeed used as a technical basis in regulatory procedures of the European Commission and its sanding committees in Brussels (Belgium). But risk assessors in Parma are far from regulators in Brussels and are not involved in legislation drafting. Procedures in both institutions are so complex (EU citizens even think that they are too complicated) that an individual opinion of single expert has very little influence.  

 

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EU Consumer affairs - Consumer Satisfaction

2011 report and latest news and developments from Directorate General for 'Health and Consumers' of the European Commission.

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2012 Annual Letter From Bill Gates | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

2012 Annual Letter From Bill Gates | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | Food Policy News | Scoop.it
Read Bill Gates’ 2012 Annual Letter update on the Gates Foundation’s work in health, poverty, and education.
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