FDA threatens an end to organic farming

Proposed U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules could mean the end of organic farming. The rules that cover areas such as the use of “biological soil amendments” (compost, compost teas and manure), water and livestock on organic farms and are so restrictive that they will likely force many organic farmers out of business. Judith McGeary, executive director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, told Off The Grid News “The rules impose very extensive costs, in both money and time…The combined effects could be devastating.” However she also pointed out that the farmers had been fighting back very effectively so far as the FDA are due to reconsider the rules during the summer of 2014. To stay informed you can sign up for email alerts.

Global obesity tips the scales at 35%

A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 has been published in the Lancet and brings the hard-hitting truth home to roost. Obesity is spiralling out of all control and has risen to over 35% globally. The study methodically identified “surveys, reports, and published studies that included data for height and weight, both through physical measurements and self-reports.” The report found that between 1980 and 2013 people’s body-mass index (BMI) had increased worldwide from 28·8% to 36·9% in men, and 29·8% to 38·0% in women. In developing countries 23·8% of boys and 22·6% of girls were overweight or obese in 2013. The interpretation of the study points out that, “Because of the established health risks and substantial increases in prevalence, obesity has become a major global health challenge. Not only is obesity increasing, but no national success stories have been reported in the past 33 years. Urgent global action and leadership is needed to help countries to more effectively intervene.”

World-renowned biochemist calls for school Wi-Fi, ‘Smart’ meters and baby monitors to be abolished

Martin Pall, an eminent biochemist with 8 international honours to his name, has called for Wi-Fi in schools to be abolished, along with ‘Smart’ meters and baby monitors. Two of his presentations are available to view. The first presentation reveals the pathological mechanisms behind wireless harm, and shows that biological damage is not caused by heating (thermogenic) effects alone. In the second presentation, “Prof. Pall and health advocate Merry Callahan offer testimony on the health impacts from EMF radiation to the Portland Public School Board.”

Ayurvedic drugmakers in India protest UK herb ban

The clamp down on unregistered herbal medicinal products by the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has caused consternation in India. The sell-though period ended on 30th April 2014, and the Indian Business Standard has reported: “Ayurvedic drugmakers from India, under the Ayurvedic Drug Manufacturers' Association (ADMA), are protesting the ban. The body has approached the commerce ministry for resolution”. The EC’s Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD) requirements have made it almost impossible for complex non-Western traditions (e.g. Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine) to obtain traditional herbal registrations (THRs) for their products and industry concerns have largely been ignored to date.

Big biotech standing on shaky foundations

Australian organic farmer Steve Marsh has lost his organic certification as a result of contamination from the GMO canola crop grown by his neighbour. Marsh took an important stand for organic farmers everywhere when he decided to fight it out in court with a legal action. The loss of this landmark case is a setback for the cause, but further defines the boundary lines between the biotech/pesticide lobby and the people and farmers dedicated to maintain our access to organic food.  

Big Biotech appears to be calling all the shots, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the industry is standing on very shaky foundations. A new report by Friends of the Earth International has added yet more weight to the argument that the industry is merely built on myths, and these are being systematically exposed as such.

If you’re in the UK, you have the option of making a stand by sending an email (the text of which is provided as a guide), to ask all UK supermarkets (apart from Waitrose) to reverse their policy and exclude GM feed from their animal supply chains. To date Waitrose is the only UK supermarket working to maintain GM-free supply chains. But other supermarkets could be forced to follow suit with sufficient consumer pressure.


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