Posted on

The World’s Sick Farm Birds

Avian_Influenza_(_Bird_Flu_)_Sign_-_geograph.org.uk_-_338394

Touch the Soil News #633 (feature photo CC SA 2.0) Around the world, a growing number of chickens (and ducks) in industrial farm settings are getting sick with dangerous strains of the Avian Flu. After culling (destroying) over 33 million birds, the nation of South Korea is struggling with having sufficient egg supplies as well as chicken meat. The price of chicken meat has skyrocketed by over 150 percent over the past two months. The Avian Flu epidemic is having a domino effect around the world. Russia maintains its chicken egg and meat supplies by importing hatching chicks from the European Union. However, Russian health officials have to ban hatchling…

Read more

Posted on

Update on the Decimation of Millions of Chickens (and turkeys)

avian-flufeature

Touch the Soil News #166 Recently, Tom Vilsack (U.S. Secretary of Agriculture) announced the federal government expects to pay $191 million to chicken and turkey farmers who lost flocks to the avian flu. Vilsack said that is in addition to the nearly $400 million spent on cleaning up dead birds and disinfecting barns. So, let’s see, that is almost $600 million the government is putting out. Total hen losses are now estimated at 48 million birds. The Iowa Farm Bureau (Iowa is the largest egg producing state in the nation) did a study that showed Iowa will lose nearly $427 million in lost additional value. Directly tragic to not only…

Read more

Posted on

Food-Chain News Roundup

newsRoundup

Touch the Soil News # 149 Billionaires and Food Vietnam’s only billionaire, Pham Nhat Vuong, through his investment company Vingroup, is putting together a $46.5 million dollar greenhouse food enterprise. Up till now, Vuong has been involved in property development – making agriculture a total departure from his norm. Helping in the project is Israeli company Netafim. Netafim builds out greenhouses and is the world’s leader in drip irrigation products and technology. Vuong represents just one small investor, among a growing flock of investors looking to harness their dollars in food and agriculture. Greenhouse food production near cities attracts billionaire Farmers Open Grocery Store Two Canadian farmers – Simone Rudge…

Read more

Posted on

Egg Conundrum

FeaturedPhoto

Touch the Soil News # 135 Consumer pressure to make egg production more humane resulted in a watershed law in California last year. California laws required that on January 1, 2015, any eggs sold in California must come from hens that have at least 116 square inches of floor space – a 73 percent increase over common practices. Egg industry experts estimated that many egg laying enterprises will enlarge the spaces in order to be able to sell in California, but may reduce the number of hens they have. One estimate is that the California law might precipitate the culling of 10 million hens. Unanticipated, however, is the roughly 50…

Read more

Posted on

Food-Chain News Roundup

newsRoundup

Touch the Soil News # 121 – includes 4 videos   Monsanto Blunders in its Approach to Buy Syngenta Swiss company Syngenta, has been dogged by Monsanto to sell itself to Monsanto (three tries so far). Monsanto has offered a deal worth $45 billion. However, Syngenta believes their company is worth far more than Monsanto’s proposal. In addition, Syngenta feels such merger is dangerous if it cannot be consummated without hang-ups and regulatory snags. Should the two companies try to merge and fail, it could hurt the value of Syngenta. Monsanto has agreed to put up a $2 billion safety net that would go to Syngenta should the deal fail.…

Read more

Posted on

News Roundup – Catching Up on Food Chain Events

FILE -  In this Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008 file photo, health workers slaughter all the chickens at the wholesale poultry market in Hong Kong after three dead chickens tested positive for bird flu. The U.S. government asked scientists Tuesday Dec. 20, 2011 not to reveal all the details of how to make a version of the deadly bird flu that they created in labs in the U.S. and Europe. The lab-bred virus, being kept under high security, appears to spread more easily among mammals. That's fueled worry that publishing a blueprint could aid terrorists in creating a biological weapon, the National Institutes of Health said. Bird flu, known formally as H5N1 avian influenza, occasionally infects people who have close contact with infected poultry, particularly in parts of Asia. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

May 28, 2015 │ Genetically Engineered Salmon A draft environmental review of AquaBounty Technologies’ genetically engineered salmon reveals that Canadian authorities disagree with the U.S. FDA on key questions related to safety. If it moves forward, this would be the first genetically engineered animal approved for human consumption. In objection to the GE salmon, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans puts forth these findings. 1) The GE salmon is more susceptible to aeromonas salmonicida – a disease causing bacteria creating new unique health and environmental problems. 2) The GE salmon exhibits widely varied performance, suggesting that the growth-hormone gene construct inserted is unpredictable, raising questions about safety. The contradictions…

Read more