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Finally, the Bees Win in Court

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Touch the Soil News # 182 Amidst pressure from Dow AgroSciences, the EPA folded back in 2013 and approved a pesticide called sulfoxaflor. This chemical has been implicated in the global crisis in bee health. Dow AgroSciences touted that the chemical addresses a $2 billion market need for cotton and rice. Mother Jones journalist Tom Philpott, recently covered the outcome of a lawsuit by a group of beekeeping organizations and the National Honey Bee Advisory Board against the EPA – demanding that sulfoxaflor be withdrawn from the market. On Thursday, September 10th, 2015, a federal appeals court struck down the EPA’s approval of the pesticide sulfoxaflor. Commenting on the decision,…

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California – Water Cuts to Agriculture

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Following the food-chain news frequently ends up in California. Unfortunately, there has been another turn of events in California’s “water-desperation” saga. In an Associated Press article today (5/15/2015) more water curtailments are in the near future for California. Up until now, California Governor Jerry Brown limited water cuts to urban cities – requiring cities to cut 25 percent of their historical usage. Sparing agriculture from water curtailments changed today as California farmers who hold rights to water that date back as far as the Gold Rush are bracing for their first state-ordered conservation in decades, as a record drought prompts some of the deepest cuts yet in the country’s most…

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Experiment – What Happens to You When Everything You Eat is Organic

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Swedish grocery chain Coop has been working since the 1980s to educate consumers on the benefits of eating organic and challenging politicians to do more for organic food production. We all know the story, we can read all the technical studies on the pesticide levels in our bodies, but few people change to organic – often because of the cost. Putting technical reports aside, the Coop decided to do an experiment on what happens to people when they switch to 100 percent organic diets. The company enlisted the Palmbergs (see photo), a typical Swedish family, to participate in a three-week experiment switching from conventional food to organic. In the first…

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When It Comes to Raising Food, Are You Part of the Inner Circle?

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Whether or not you are part of the inner circle, may determine how aggressive you pursue alternatives to the industrial food chain – read on. The motto of Forbes Magazine is “The Capitalist Tool.” True to its motto, Forbes is hosting the first ever AgTech Summit in Salinas, California on July 8-9, 2015. Now, before you get too excited about going, the event is by invitation only. Forbes is looking for several hundred of the smartest minds from Silicon Valley and global agriculture to tackle some of the world’s most critical challenges. Forbes wants to connect agriculture with high tech and capital. Smart minds, technology and capital have brought many things…

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In a Rare Stance of Courage – Former EPA lawyer, Michele Merkel, Blows Whistle on CAFOs

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April 11, 2015 │Washington D.C. Attorney Michele Merkel works at the non-profit Food & Water Watch in Washington D.C. Recently, she went public in special video presentation that uncovers the conflicts of interest between the EPA and the environmental, human and health risks of CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations). In her own words, Michele (see photo) explains: “I quit my job at EPA because I couldn’t do my job – and now I sue them. Uploaded here is her 14-minute TEDx talk that provides insights into how conflicts of interest – at high federal levels – can take precedence over the general welfare. While we normally stick to shorter video…

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