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Knowledge Exchange

"The future depends on what we do with the present." Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948

While the discovery of rDNA may hold one of the greatest promises in the history of biology, studies continue to expose the potential dangers associated to consuming foods which contain them.

The agrochemical industry is valued at over $42 billion and operates with impunity while over 355,000 people die from pesticide poisoning every year, and hundreds of thousands more are made ill. In addition, pesticide corporations have put livelihoods and jobs in jeopardy, including, farmers, beekeepers and lobstermen.

These postings explore the research, surveys and analyses that link industrial agriculture to adverse effects not only to our well being but that of the our planet. To read the study referenced above please go to: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21338670

Autism Linked to Industrial Food, Environment

A new study by Clinical Epigenetics, a peer-reviewed journal that focuses largely on diseases, has found that the rise in autism in the United States could be linked to the industrial food system, specifically the prevalence of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the American diet. The study, published yesterday online, explores how mineral deficiencies could impact how the human body rids itself of common toxic chemicals like mercury and pesticides.

City of Vancouver to weed out laws impeding agriculture

The City of Vancouver is pursuing changes to bylaws and regulations that will rescue commercial urban agriculture from its legal limbo. A team of city staff members has convened with the goal of removing the legal impediments to farming on both public and private land.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/City+Vancouver+weed+laws+impeding+agric...

The Folly of Big Agriculture: Why Nature Always Wins

Large-scale industrial agriculture depends on engineering the land to ensure the absence of natural diversity. But as the recent emergence of herbicide-tolerant weeds on U.S. farms has shown, nature ultimately finds a way to subvert uniformity and assert itself.

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/the_folly_of_big_agriculture_why_nature_alw...

The Family Farm Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence

An entire way of life is rapidly dying right in front of our eyes. The family farm is being systematically wiped out of existence in America, and big agribusiness and the federal government both have blood all over their hands. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farms in the United States has fallen from about 6.8 million in 1935 to only about 2 million today. That doesn't mean that there is less farming going on. U.S. farms are producing more than ever. But what it does mean is that farming is increasingly becoming dominated by the big boys.

Wafting poison makes fertile ground for law suit

Oluf Johnson's 1,500-acre farm in Stearns County is an organic island in a sea of chemically treated corn and soybeans. Improperly applied pesticides repeatedly drift over from neighboring farms, often with dire consequences for Johnson. But now, thanks to a new court ruling, he and other farmers can sue to recover their losses.

Monsanto Planted GMOs Before USDA Approval

There is some shocking evidence that, until recently, was withheld from the public showing that Monsanto’s genetically altered alfalfa may have been set free in 2003 — a full two years or more before it was deregulated in 2005. In a letter, obtained by NaturalSociety with permission to post for public viewing, it becomes clear that the USDA may have turned a blind eye to the entire situation, allowing widespread GMO contamination of GMO-free crops.

http://naturalsociety.com/did-monsanto-plant-gmos-before-usda-approval/#...

Report Says a Crop Subsidy Cap Could Save Billions

The federal government could save about $1 billion a year by reducing the subsidies it pays to large farmers to cover much of the cost of their crop insurance, according to a report by Congressional auditors due to be released on Thursday. Under the federal crop insurance program, farmers can buy insurance policies that cover poor yields, declines in prices or both. The insurance is obtained through private companies, but the federal government pays about 62 percent of the premiums, plus administrative expenses.

The Exceedingly Strange World of Federal Crop Insurance Subsidies

The United States spends an obscene amount on crop insurance. Will the 2012 farm bill do anything about it? According to an account in last week’s New York Times, the federal government could save about $1 billion a year by reducing the subsidies it pays to large farmers to cover much of the cost of their crop insurance. Crop insurance subsidies are expected to cost $39 billion from 2012 to 2016, or about $7.8 billion a year.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/the-exceedingly-strang...

Farmers ask House committee to keep crop insurance

In an area hit hard by drought last year, plains farmers echoed to three members of the House Agricultural Committee what many in the Farm Belt have relayed: Make sure the new farm bill has crop insurance as its backbone.

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/80666--farmers-ask-house-committ...

'Organic' Compost Laced with Human Sewage Sludge—Don't Buy It!

Gardeners wishing to grow organic veggies face a raunchy roadblock this season—organic compost laced with human sewage sludge and industrial and mortuary waste. Um, gag! Companies are allowed to take the sludge, bag it, and sell it as an organic amendment in garden centers and big box stores, unbeknownst to many organic gardeners. This is a real problem, considering the sludge is chockfull of pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, industrial waste, and gender-bending, hormone-disrupting chemicals.

http://www.rodale.com/compost-sewage-sludge