Archive | Agriculture RSS feed for this section

Paddlers Charge Silver River Protesting Expected Cattle Ranch

30 Jun
Paddlers charge the iconic Silver River, protesting Adena Springs Ranch

Paddlers charge the iconic Silver River, protesting Adena Springs Ranch. Photo: Matt Keene

By Matt Keene / Earth First! Newswire

Grassfed beef ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Take Adena Springs Ranch, a proposed cattle ranch being developed by billionaire Frank Stronach in Florida. The beef project is expected to span 10,000 acres and, according to their website, hold up to 15,000 cattle. Adena Springs Ranch plans to raise the cattle on a grassfed diet, calling their industrial farming practices “healthier” and “better for the environment.”

This past Saturday, individuals concerned with the proposed ranch gathered alongside the iconic Silver River, a river formed from the discharge of Silver Springs, one of the largest natural artesian wells in the world. Continue reading

FBI Chases Anti-GMO Activists While Ignoring Monsanto’s Transgressions

25 Jun
Hot on the trail of the bad guys — depending on your definition of “bad.”

Hot on the trail of the bad guys — depending on your definition of “bad.”

by John Upton / Grist.org

Some experimental GMO crops were torn out of a field in Oregon this month. That means it’s time for the federal government to freak the fuck out and do its best to clamp down again on eco-activism.

The sugar beet plants, which were genetically engineered by Syngenta to survive applications of the herbicide Roundup, were uprooted in the middle of the night from a couple of fields, presumably by anti-GMO activists. The destruction of the experimental crops occurred in the same state where a strain of Monsanto’s illegal herbicide-resistant wheat recently showed up in a farmer’s field, threatening America’s multibillion-dollar wheat export market.

Continue reading

Crops of Genetically Engineered Sugar Beets Sabotaged in Oregon

21 Jun

by Kimberly A.C. Wilson / Oregon Live

GMO_sugar_beetsFederal investigators are asking the public to help solve middle-of-the-night crimes that left ruined fields of genetically engineered sugar beets in rural Jackson County.

The crop destruction took place over the course of two separate nights in early June, when an unknown individual or group destroyed about 6,500 sugar beet plants genetically engineered to stand up to the herbicide Roundup on a pair of privately-owned plots of land leased and managed by Syngenta.

Continue reading

The Oregon Extinction Event: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

20 Jun

-b09b23f5af8d51ac

by Elizabeth Case / The Oregonian

An estimated 25,000 bumblebees have been found dead in a Target parking lot in Wilsonville since Saturday, the largest known incident of bumblebee deaths in the United States, according to the Xerces Society. Preliminary information suggests pesticides may be at fault.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture received reports of bees and other insects falling out of 55 blooming European linden trees Monday from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

The bees were still dying on Wednesday. Yellow-faced bees fell from the trees, twitching on their backs or wandering in tight circles on the asphalt. Some honeybees and ladybugs were also found dead. A few dead bumblebees even clung to linden flowers, while hundreds littered the lot.

Continue reading

Indonesia to Use Rain-Making Technology to Stop Forest Fires. Seems Legit.

19 Jun
indonesiapalmoil

Credit: Coalition to save Tripa Forest / Handout / 3/05/2012

by Rabb!t / Earth First! Newswire

The Indonesian rainforest is in an unbalanced tug-o-war between corporations and the wild, and the government’s problem-solution/problem-solution/problem dance of reactionary politics is spiraling out of control.

In Indonesia, you have one of the most biologically diverse forests on the planet (ranking third in the world for number of species) being sold to giant conglomerates. Generally, these conglomerates decide to do one of two things with the rainforest: shred it into pulp and paper; or burn it down, in football field-size chunks, and replant the ashen land with palm trees.

Why palm trees? Though I’m sure the smoldering burial grounds of the once-tropical forest will be as good a tourist destination as any once the sea levels and super-storms catch up with atmospheric CO2 levels, these imported palm trees are not being planted for ambiance, but rather being squeezed for their palm oil.

Continue reading

Armed Permaculturists Explain Strategy of Seed Bomb Explosives

12 Jun

from Earth First Newswire

This beautiful short documentary sheds some light on a little-known international perma-eco-terra-ist group calling itself SLF-NAG (Seed Liberation Frontier-North Aegean Guerrillas). The mysterious organization has gone public to explain the motives behind their seed-bombing campaign:

“Seed control is an issue of growing importance not only for the consumers, but also for the producers. The current state of affairs endangers not only the public health but also the freedom of the people. Hence, there is an urgent need for innovative and radical means of reaction.

“In our days it is the mass media which shapes the reality. Documentaries, on the other hand, often act as key instruments for deconstructing the ‘”reality” and unveil the truth behind. Therefore, documentaries should also be used to inform the public, challenge well-established views of reality and, subsequently, to turn the propaganda upside down.”

Wait a minute… Do those accents sound a little fishy to anyone else?

Putting the Culture Back in Agriculture: Reviving Native Food and Farming Traditions

10 Jun

by Tory Field and Beverly Bell / Toward Freedom

A family on the Navajo Nation in the Four Corners area of the Southwest makes kneel down bread, a traditional food made with blue corn. Photo: Brett Ramney.

A family on the Navajo Nation in the Four Corners area of the Southwest makes kneel down bread, a traditional food made with blue corn. Photo: Brett Ramney.

“At one point ‘agriculture’ was about the culture of food. Losing that culture, in favor of an American cultural monocrop, joined with an agricultural monocrop, puts us in a perilous state…” says food and Native activist Winona LaDuke.[i]

Her lament is an agribusiness executive’s dream. The CEO of the H.J. Heinz Company said, “Once television is there, people, whatever shade, culture, or origin, want roughly the same things.”[ii] The same things are based on the same technology, same media sources, same global economy, and same food.

Together with the loss of cultural diversity, the growth of industrial agriculture has led to an enormous depletion in biodiversity. Throughout history, humans have cultivated about 7,000 species of plants. In the last century, three-quarters of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops have been lost. Thirty crops now provide 95% of our food needs, with rice, wheat, maize, and potato alone providing 60%. Eighty-five percent of the apple varieties that once existed in the US have been lost. Vast fields of genetically identical crops are much more susceptible to pests, necessitating increased pesticide use. The lack of diversity also endangers the food supply, as an influx of pests or disease can wipe out enormous quantities of crops in one fell swoop.    Continue reading

Oh Damn, Chuck Norris Fights Monsanto and GMO Crops

3 Jun
Better watch out Monsanto!

Better watch out Monsanto, the Golden Haired Dragon has his sights on you!

by Russ McSpadden / Earth First! News

Ok, weird but true: Say you wanted to know real, real bad what ole Chuck Norris, the black belt actor that once fought Bruce Lee, thinks about genetically modified foods. You can actually just ask him. That’s right, you canwrite to Chuck Norris with your questions about health and fitness.” Some guy named Tobias D. from California raised the question with Chuck thusly:

Chuck, did you hear about the 2 million people who marched around the world against genetically modified foods? And what’s the truth about genetically modified organisms, seeds and crops?

And I’ll be damned if Chuck (despite being a Republican hack from time to time) didn’t give it some thorough thought and a pretty darned decent response condemning GMOs, which you can read below.  But first, a few gratuitous Chuck Norris facts. Continue reading

Monsanto Set to Halt GMO Push in Europe

2 Jun
The march against Monsanto, Germany. (Image from twitter user@@HarvestPM)

The march against Monsanto, Germany. (Image from twitter user@@HarvestPM)

from RT

Monsanto plans to halt lobbying for its genetically modified plant varieties in Europe due to low demand from local farmers, a representative from the US agricultural giant told a German daily.

“We are no longer working on lobbying for more cultivation in Europe,” Brandon Mitchner a representative for Monsanto’s European branch, Tageszeitung, said in an interview set to be published on Saturday.

“Currently we do not plan to apply for the approval of new genetically modified crops. The reason is, among other things, low demand of the farmers,” he continued.

A spokeswoman for Monsanto Germany, Ursula Luttmer-Ouazane, admitted that Monsanto recognizes that GMO crops were currently not embraced on the European market. Continue reading

Unapproved Monsanto Crop Found Growing in Oregon

30 May

Safe-levels-of-Monsanto-herbicide-and-GM-crop-linked-to-cancer_strict_xxl

from RT

A genetically modified strain of wheat that was never approved by the United States Department of Agriculture as been discovered growing in Oregon, triggering a federal probe that is now spanning several states.

Investigators with the USDA want to know why the GMO crop, made by biotech company Monsanto but never approved for use, sprouted up in a field in the Pacific Northwest. Continue reading