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Kenya: Health secretary blocks planned testing of GMO maize

The article below reports that in Kenya, the health secretary has rejected a planned trial of GM maize, “dealing a big blow to scientists and global seed companies, who have been pushing for policy change on the controversial crop science”. Note that this quote from Francis Karin, a senior research assistant at the Tegemeo Institute at Egerton University, is a …

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Barbara Damrosch – Two Sisters: Growing Corn and Shell Beans at Home

Corn and beans have long been related — in history, in the garden, and in the kitchen. As two of the “three sisters,” as Native Americans call them, they coexist happily. Vining beans climb cornstalks, while big leaves of squash carpet the ground below. Modern gardeners tend to give each one its own bed, and most plant sweet corn instead …

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Leah Penniman – After a Century In Decline, Black Farmers Are Back And On the Rise

A few years ago, while clearing dried broccoli stalks from the tired soil of our land at Soul Fire Farm in upstate New York, I received a cold call from Boston. On the other end was a Black woman, unknown to me, who wanted to share her story of trying to make it as a farmer. Through tears, she explained …

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New Study: Bt Toxins 100% Lethal to Amphibians

The biotech industry once told the world that Bt insecticidal crops were only harmful to insects and were harmless to pets and people. But a new study of the ecotoxicological risks of widespread commercial Bt spraying found otherwise. Introban®, a Bt-containing product, caused 100% lethality in amphibians. Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghii tested the effects of Introban®, a commercial formulation of a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) …

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Genetically modified crop cultivation plateaus in US

Cultivation of genetically modified crops looks to have hit a peak in the U.S. as a soft international grain market pushes farmers to grow more traditional varieties in exchange for special premiums. GM crops accounted for 94% of U.S. soybean cultivation by area in the 2015-16 growing season, unchanged from a year earlier, the Department of Agriculture reported last July. …

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Matt Kelly – Meet This Third-Generation Farmer Who Converted His 1,400 Acres to Growing Organic Food

In the U.S., corn is our big crop: 94 million acres farmed in 2012. It’s followed by soybeans (76 million acres) and wheat (49 million acres). There’s also the 55 million acres used to grow hay for livestock. And keep in mind that the majority of this corn is being used to feed animals; the remainder is used to manufacture starch, …

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New Study Finds GMO Corn Makes Rats Infertile – Christina Sarich

Still think GMOs and their non-GMO counterparts are equivalent? Think again. Unlike GM corn, non-GMO corn doesn’t cause sterility. A new study released by Egyptian scientists found that rats fed a GMO diet suffer from infertility, among other health issues. Researchers from the Food Technology Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Anatomy and Embryology, and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt, have …

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As Americans Reject Monsanto, Organic is Booming Like Crazy – Christine Sarich

For every farmer who sold out to Monsanto’s agenda, they’ll likely be kicking themselves in the plants soon enough. What will it take for America’s farmers to realize that Americans don’t want to eat genetically modified food when they don’t even want to purchase it as feed for their livestock? Sorry Monsanto, but demand for organic food is absolutely booming. We’re importing organic corn …

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More farmers looking at organic crop production

The Organic Trade Association reports that the most recent available numbers on retail sales of organic food totaled $32.3 billion in 2013. And a colleague that I worked with in the past noted that this is more than the farm gate sales of all the corn and soybeans produced in Iowa in 2014. Even if we use high-water mark prices …