Friday, November 14, 2014

Food Crops News 258

Hoàng Kim, Chào ngày mớiCây Lương thựcHọc mỗi ngày,  
Update of Food Crops News from 10 Nov. to 13 Nov., 2014.

food crops
Daily update November 13, 2014


FDA Tests less than 1% of Food Products for Pesticide Residue
This is startling considering that “from 1970 to 2007, hundreds of millions of pounds of pesticides were applied annually to U.S. food crops to protect ...
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DelVal's new lacrosse team harvests crops to stock food pantries for Thanksgiving
DelVal's new lacrosse team harvests crops to stock food pantries for ... organization devoted to bringing fresh, healthy produce to food pantries.
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The new Delaware Valley College men's lacrosse team recently volunteered to help harvest crops for food pantries in time for Thanksgiving.
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Crop Biotech Update
November 12, 2014
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) deregulated biotech potato known as Innate, after 10 years of scientific development, safety assessments, and extensive field tests by J.R. Simplot Company. Innate potatoes have ~40% less bruise caused by impact and pressure during harvest and storage than conventional potatoes and have lower levels of asparagine. Asparagine is converted into acrylamide when fried, which is a chemical compound linked to cancer. It is projected that Innate will decrease annual potato waste by about 400 million lbs. in the food service and retail industries and about 3 billion lbs. discarded by consumers.
Simplot is looking forward to the completion of the FDA review process before Innate is introduced into the marketplace in limited test markets in 2015.
For more information, visit and
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam (MoNRE) has issued on November 3, 2014, decisions No. 2485 and 2486 / QD-BTNMT granting certificates of biosafety for herbicide resistant transgenic maize with event GA21 (Syngenta Vietnam Co.) and NK603 (Dekalb Vietnam Co., Ltd.). The decisions came after assessing and evaluating the dossiers for registration in accordance with the provisions of Circular No. 08/2013 / TT-BTNMT dated May 16, 2013 stipulating procedures for granting and revoking certificates for biological safety of GM crops.
The certificate requires their holders to manage and monitor the biosafety of these events and annually send the report on the time, location and area of their release to MoNRE. The certificate holders are also requested to report timely to concerned authorities if there is any urgent case of new information on risk or reverse impact to environment and biosafety relating to these maize varieties and to take appropriate remedies. Before receiving biosafety certificates in Vietnam, transgenic maize event NK603 was approved in 11 countries and event GA21 were approved in 9 countries for releasing into the environment, including USA, Canada, Japan.
Translated by Agbiotech VN from
Bt rice (mfb-MH86) produces cry1Ab protein to reduce feeding damage of pests including Asiatic pink stem borer (Sesamia inferens), Asiatic rice borer (Chilo suppressalis), yellow stem borer (Tryporyza incertulas) and rice leafroller (Cnaphalocrocis medinalis). Huan Song of China Agricultural University and colleagues used rice flour from Bt rice and its non-biotech counterpart (MH86) for 90-days feeding test of Sprague-Dawley rats. The researchers separately formulated rodent diets at concentrations of 17.5, 35 and 70 % (w/w).
Overall health, body weight and food consumption were comparable between groups fed diets containing mfb-MH86 and MH86. Differences in haematological and biochemical parameters of the blood samples were noted, but still within the normal range of values for the size and gender of the rats, thus not considered as effect of the treatment. Macroscopic and tissue examinations were conducted, but no significant differences were found.
Based on the results, Bt rice mfb-MH86 is as safe and nutritious as non-GM rice.
Read the abstract at
Oregon and Colorado voters rejected the ballot measures that requires labeling of GM foods. In Colorado, 66% rejected labeling while in Oregon, 50.5% of the voters did not want GM foods to be labelled.
According to DuPont spokesperson Jane Slusark, their company opposed the labeling initiatives because they could be costly and confusing for consumers.
To date, only three US states require GMO labeling. Connecticut and Maine have both passed such laws, but they contain provisions stating that they can't be implemented unless several other states approve similar labeling laws. Vermont has passed a labeling law which will be implemented in 2016.
food crops
Daily update November 12, 2014


Food Safety News
German Study Finds GM Crops Good for Farmers and the Environment
The “pro” side in the debate over the benefit of genetically modified foods ... The review included studies of GM crops conducted from 1995 to March ...
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How the Mideast can help protect food security
If these traits can be transferred to our food crops through breeding programs, they could help provide us with a continuing, resilient and diverse food ...
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The Guardian
Largest international study into safety of GM food launched by Russian NGO
“It will answer the question: is this GM food, and associated pesticide, safe for ... involved in an intense debate since GM foods were introduced in 1994. ... in the US, and the use of the herbicides to which these crops are resistant has ...
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The Guardian
MEPs vote to firm up national bans on GM crops in Europe
MEPs voted to allow national bans on genetically modified food crops for environmental reasons on Tuesday, even if the EU has already approved ...
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EU vote will allow national bans on approved GM crops
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have voted to allow countries within the EU to ban the cultivation of genetically modified food crops, ...
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Daily Mail
World's largest inquiry into safety of GM crops will cost £15.6 million
A list will be published. Biotech companies insist that many studies have already proved that GM crops and food and safe. Dr Julian Little, chairman of ...
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Upcoming workshop reminds us that “local food...
This has meant that food growers gradually breed crops varieties that thrive in ... "To have a truly self-sufficient local food system, we need seed that is ...
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food crops
Daily update November 11, 2014


Center for Research on Globalization
Genetically Engineered Food: The Criminality of the GMO Biotech Industry. “Poison First, Regulate ...
The authors of a new paper, published in the International Journal of Food Contamination, analysed the 400 or so cases in the database by crop and ...
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Is It True that Global Warming is Causing Our Crops to be Less Nutritious?
"In other words, with increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, the valuable nutrients in these food crops are scarcer, and carbohydrates are more ...
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With GM Food Ban, Europe Keeps Developing Nations From GM Benefits
For crops resistant to glysophate, allowing farmers to spray herbicide without damaging the food, the average yield increased by nine percent.
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Beefing Up India's Maritime Security
The current WTO norms cap the value of food subsidies at 10% of the value of total production of a particular food crop, based on prices prevalent in ...
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Daily News
Greedy crop buyers impoverish farmers!
The food crops grown mainly in the Southern Highlands, the nation's bread basket and other regions including Kilimanjaro and Morogoro, are maize, ...
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Crop insurance: a smart step toward sustainability
When your business is growing food, plants or flowers, insuring your crop can help protect you from financial disaster, as well as cover minor setbacks ...
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Genetic Literacy Project
McDonald's mulling embrace of Simplot's bruise-reducing Innate GMO potato
The Innate is, in theory, perfect for food giants that use a lot of potatoes, ... EU-wide investigation into the potential for biotechnology to protect crops, ...
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Radio Dabanga
'Livestock destroy harvest in Kutum': North Darfur farmers
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS Net) reported that the staple food crops, millet and sorghum, of this harvest period have enjoyed ...
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Boston Herald
Showdown looms between State of California, organic food growers
Organic food growers in California are challenging a proposed California ... including compulsory spraying of organic crops at the state's discretion.
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Sierra Express Media
Bombali people cry Minister of Agriculture must hear this!
A farmers, Madam Yabom Posseh Kamara disclosed to our reporter that she has lost many food crops in her farm land caused by cattle in that ...
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food crops
Daily update November 10, 2014


Earth Talk: Climate change and food's nutritional value
“In other words, with increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, the valuable nutrients in these food crops are scarcer, and carbohydrates are more ...
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EPA approves a new herbicide for GMO crops and lawsuits follow
“We tried our best to work through the administrative process,” says Bill Freese, science policy analyst for The Center for Food Safety. “For two years ...
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Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Opponents of genetically modified crops alarmed at state law
Modification of crops' genetic code has prompted protests against ... the secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture authority over ...
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Tech Times
Climate change distracts bees. Why the buzz? Food
About 75 percent of all food crops require pollination. With bees and other pollinators already dwindling in number because of pesticide use, disease ...
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Boston Herald
Growing organic food industry rips California's pest-management program as threat to business
SAN FRANCISCO — With organic food growers reporting double-digit ... grounds that the growers could sell sprayed crops as non-organic instead.
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Yuma Ag and You: Help keep crops clean, uncontaminated by staying out of fields
Agricultural producers spend millions of dollars a year to keep their crops clean and uncontaminated. They must test the soil, water, fertilizers and ...
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The Foods We're Not About to Lose
Among these foods we are collectively about to lose are beans, cherries, ... Over the past quarter-century, yields of all crops have increasing trends, ...
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Aspen Daily News
Struggling bear cubs find a second chance
Since the bears gorged on the abundant food sources in 2013, sows ... so many of the moms had three kids, and then [the food crop was poor this year ...
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The Land Newspaper
Around the crop circles
THE Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) and the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) will collaborate on ...
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Sudan Vision
Sudan Expects Bumper Crop, Looks for More
The adequate irrigation was , equally, good news for the African Union's recommendation to make of 2014 a year for agriculture and food security in ...
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Gates foundation spends bulk of agriculture grants in rich countries

MDG : Agriculture in Africa : Farmers break cocoa pods in Ghana
Farmers break cocoa pods in Ghana’s eastern town of Akim Akooko. Photograph: Reuters
Most of the $3bn (£1.8bn) that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given to benefit hungry people in the world’s poorest countries has been spent in the US, Britain and other rich countries, with only around 10% spent in Africa, new research suggests.
Analysis of grants made by the foundation shows that nearly half the money awarded over the past decade went to global agriculture research networks, as well as organisations including the World Bank and UN agencies, and groups that work in Africa to promote hi-tech farming.
The other $1.5bn went to hundreds of research and development organisations across the world, according to Grain, a research group based in Barcelona. “Here, over 80% of the grants were given to organisations in the US and Europe, and only 10% to groups in Africa. By far the main recipient country is the US, followed by the UK, Germany and the Netherlands,” it says in a report published on Tuesday.
Of the $678m given to universities and national research centres, 79% went to the US and Europe, and only 12% to Africa.
“The north-south divide is most shocking, however, when we look at the $669m given to non-government groups for agriculture work. Africa-based groups received just 4%. Over 75% went to organisations based in the US,” says the report.
“When we examined the foundation’s grants database, we were amazed that they seem to want to fight hunger in the south by giving money to organisations in the north. The bulk of its grants for agriculture are given to organisations in the US and Europe,” said agronomist Henk Hobbelink, a co-founder of Grain.
“It also appeared that they’re not listening to farmers, despite their claims. The overwhelming majority of its funding goes to hi-tech scientific outfits, not to supporting the solutions that the farmers themselves are developing on the ground. Africa’s farmers are cast as recipients, mere consumers of knowledge and technology from others.”
The private foundation – one of the world’s largest with an endowment of more than $38bn from Bill Gates, and which supports the Guardian’s Global development website – has emerged in under a decade as one of the major donors to agricultural research and development and the largest single funder of research into genetic engineering. In 2006-07, it spent $500m on agricultural projects and it has maintained funding at around this level since. The vast majority of the foundation’s grants focus on Africa.
It aims to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty but its agriculture work has been criticised for being fixated on the work of scientists in centralised labs and ignoring the knowledge and biodiversity that Africa’s smallholder farmers have developed over generations.
The single biggest recipient of Gates foundation agricultural grants is the CGIAR consortium of 15 international agricultural research centres.
“In the 1960s and 70s, these centres were responsible for the development and spread of a controversial ‘green revolution’ model of agriculture in parts of Asia and Latin America which focused on the mass distribution of a few varieties of seeds that could produce high yields – with the generous application of chemical fertilisers and pesticides,” says the report.
“Efforts to implement the same model in Africa failed and, globally, CGIAR lost relevance as corporations like Syngenta and Monsanto have taken control over seed markets. Money from the Gates foundation is now providing CGIAR and its green revolution model with a new lease of life, this time in direct partnership with seed and pesticide companies.”
Gates foundation grants: where does the money go?
The centres have received more than $720m from Gates since 2003. During the same period, another $678m went to universities and national research centres – more than three-quarters of them in the US and Europe – for research and development of specific technologies, such as crop varieties and breeding techniques.
Britain has been the Gates foundation’s second largest recipient, receiving 25 grants worth $156m since 2003. In the US, where universities and research groups have been awarded $880m, Cornell University has received $90m – more than all other countries except the US, UK and Germany.
“We could find no evidence of any support from the Gates foundation for programmes of research or technology development carried out by farmers or based on farmers’ knowledge, despite the multitude of such initiatives that exist across the continent and the fact that African farmers continue to supply an estimated 90% of the seed used on the continent,” says the report. “The foundation has elected consistently to put its money into top-down structures of knowledge generation and flow, where farmers are mere recipients of the technologies developed in labs and sold to them by companies.”
Grain suggests that the foundation uses its money to indirectly impose a policy agenda on African governments. “The Gates foundation set up the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra) in 2006 and has supported it with $414m since then. It holds two seats on the alliance’s board and describes it as the African face and voice for our work,” it says.
“Agra trains farmers on how to use the technologies, and even organises them into groups to better access the technologies, but it does not support farmers in building up their own seed systems or in doing their own research. It also funds initiatives and agribusiness companies operating in Africa to develop private markets for seeds and fertilisers through support to ‘agro-dealers’.
“An important component of its work, however, is shaping policy. Agra intervenes directly in the formulation and revision of agricultural policies and regulations in Africa on such issues as land and seeds. It does so through national ‘policy action nodes’ of experts, selected by Agra that work to advance particular policy changes,” says the report.
The foundation, based in Seattle, responded to the report’s main points by saying they gave an incomplete picture of its work. “The needs of millions of smallholder farmers – most of whom are women – are very much at the centre of the Gates foundation’s agriculture strategy. Our grants are focused on connecting farmers with quality farming supplies and information, access to markets, and improving data so that government policies and resources are in line with their needs. Listening to farmers to understand their needs, and to developing country governments to understand their priorities, is crucially important,” said spokesman Chris Williams.
“We fundamentally believe that development should be led by developing countries themselves. We invest directly in the capacity of national governments to execute their own agricultural strategies and join with other donors to fund those strategies through multilateral mechanisms like the global agriculture and food security programme.
“Looking at the primary grantees in our database doesn’t provide a complete picture of where our funds end up and who they benefit. Many of our primary grantees sub grant funds to local institutions in African and south Asian countries, including farmer organisations.
“Many local NGOs in Africa and south Asia are small organisations without the capacity to absorb large grants and often choose to partner with larger organisations to get work done most efficiently. But at the same time, we are also engaged in direct capacity-building funding to ensure these organisations will be more able to administer grants of this size on their own in the future.”
The same is true for research funding, Williams said, adding: “We fund research on crops and livestock that are critically important to the poor, but have historically been neglected by donors. For example, with support from the British government, our foundation and others, researchers at Cornell and the US department of agriculture are now working on improved varieties of cassava, a staple crop in many tropical regions. Partners in Uganda and Nigeria are growing new plants, recording their traits, and sending genetic samples to Cornell for sequencing. This will help breeders in these countries develop new locally adapted varieties faster than ever.”
• Agra has responded to this article in a letter to the Guardian

Farm Favorite Friday: My growing love for cover crops

November 7th, 2014
It all started when Eric Johnston came to work at AgriEnergy Resources as an agronomist nearly a year ago. While visiting customers in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ohio, Eric was awakened to a whole new world.
A world filled with cover crops, which is proving to be one of his favorite parts of farming. And for good reason.
He farms row crops alongside his family near Tiskilwa, Illinois and is always on the look out on how to best increase yield potential year after year.
Meet Eric:
Rolled Rye
“Yes I had read about them in ag magazines, but had never personally seen cover crops growing in fields or talked with the cutting edge producers who were implementing them into their farm systems. Heck one of our customers in Indiana had alternated Austrian winter peas and radishes in 30 inch rows. This year he was going to use RTK to plant corn in the middle of these rows. Another of our customers from Wisconsin planted some fields with cereal rye. He let the cereal rye get to 3-4 foot tall this spring and then no till planted soybeans into it (pictured to the right).
Then he used his roller crimper to knock down the rye. Notice the weed control – this field had no herbicide on it!! And we just got word that it yielded very well also.
Visiting our customer’s farms, talking with farmers, and of course reading about cover crop use has me hooked. I fell for them hard and there’s no looking back.
Johnston Cereal Rye
We drilled in cereal rye following the combine on some of our fields this fall. We also flew on (by helicopter) some oats and radishes into standing corn. All of the cover cropped fields are looking great so far and I cant help but get giddy when I drive by or walk these fields.
I don’t understand why more farmers aren’t trying to implement cover crops into their farming systems. To have living roots in the soil throughout the year can only do good things. These roots release root exudates in the form of carbon and sugar and are what feed the soil microbes and increase organic matter. They also protect against wind/water erosion, increase water infiltration, decrease compaction, increase aeration and scavenge nutrients as to avoid run-off in our water system. Talk about soil health!
The Johnston Boys
Another big reason I am falling in love with cover crops is I think they will decrease our herbicide usage on our farms and help us with weed control. Mother nature wants to cover every acre of bare dirt with something, so why not have it be a beneficial cover crop instead of a weed!! I feel that cover crops and biologicals are going to be the future of farming, and I hope to pass my knowledge onto my son, Cullen (pictured with his grandpa).
On our own family farm, we’re already discussing ways we can put cover crops and biological products from AgriEnergy Resources on more of our acres next year. We know it takes a little more work and planning, but the benefits far outweigh the work. As I drive by one of our green cover cropped fields, and then look at the neighbors bare field right next to it, my love for cover crops keeps growing. We need to be thinking about the health of our soil for not only now but for future generations as well.”
What about you? Do you use cover crops? We’d love to hear about it. And maybe even share your story in next week’s edition of Farm Favorite Friday.
Until next time, happy trails!

One Response

Bob Fisher says:
cover crops are not only great for soil rejuvenation. If the right crops are planted they will help other benefactors like honey bees, In the late fall there is not much left for the bees, not just honey bees there are plenty of wild pollinators out there, we call them solitary bees. There is plenty out there.
No matter what crop you plant, believe me it needs pollination.
If you choose the right cover crop, you will not only help the bees but you will enforce and increase your pollination strengths for the next spring.
Take care,