Monday, January 19, 2009

USDA rebuffed and other top news for Jan. 19

Here is the link to the Jan. 13 decision by the American National Standards Institute that reaffirms the Leonardo Academy as the developer of the national standard for agriculture sustainability. In rejecting the USDA's appeal, the ANSI Executive Council apparently found that Leonardo has done a credible job in reaching out to various stakeholders so far. ANSI has urged Leonardo to seek broad consensus before submitting a standard. While there is no deadline for Leonardo, I expect the standard setting process will take some time. Other news snatched from the Web this morning....

Economic factors, Contamination fears and locavore movement fuel backyard growing Chicago Trib article. From the piece:
Why the growth in enthusiasm for growing food? The economy surely has a role. An increase in seed sales is "typical when we see an economic downturn," according to Stephanie Turner, director of seed product at Park Seed Co., another venerable catalog house in Greenwood, S.C. (parkseed.com). "People are trying to stay home and beautify what they have and grow their own food."

Lost colonies The demise of honeybees and what's behind it. Review of book by Rowan Jacobsen's "Fruitless Fall: The collapse of the honeybee and the coming agricultural crisis."

Agriculture must be seen as profitable and sexy to thrive Story about declining farm population in Canada

Struggle over climate change on the horizon
FT feature about what's ahead under Obama for climate change legislation

The most serious struggle will be over climate change, or the regulation of carbon emissions. You can forget all the chit chat about finding a consensus on this one: the coal people and the enviros are in this match until one side is carried out.


Bananas are dying
From the story

Soon -- in five, 10 or 30 years -- the yellow creamy fruit as we know it will not exist.

TK: Which is it? 5 or 30 years?

Is water the next artificial shortage? Dilbert creator realist(cynic) Scott Adams asked readers of his blog to answer the question "Who will screw us next?" The answer: water.

The plausible explanation for the worldwide shortage is that the population is growing faster than the supply of clean water. Add global warming to the mix and you have plausible explanations for worldwide droughts. That's the cover story. It's true enough to mask the artificial shortages that will be caused by the speculators and hedge funds.

What happens if Mexico's government falls apart? Columnist argues for legalization of drugs in U.S. because of Mexican drug cartels

Mexico's narco juniors kill rivals
Drug violence starts early in border towns

Lettuce cargo sprouts 18 immigrants in UK

Detox diets attract fans and critics

Old keys unlock one answer to food shortages Good story about Key for Hope charity that uses proceeds from donated keys to fund food bank donations

Obama to push bankers to resume lending Republicans object to lack of input in Obama's stimulus plan

FDA trying to crack salmonella outbreak
What did Yoda say ? "Do or do not: there is no try."

Product of Canada, eh? Changes to Canada's food labeling laws

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