2013

Issue 300

Lead Article: 
Parasites

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Corporate and Conservative keds on shorn sheepParasites: As sheep farmers, we learned to manage parasites. But what about the parasites on the body politic?
Reactions Regarding Seeds: Proposed changes to the seeds and Plant Breeders Rights law will be devastating for agriculture
Weeds: Resistance to herbicides continues to expand and multiply
Approving Contamination: Canada leads in efforts to permit "low-level presence" of GM in crops exported to Europe
The treadmill continues: New GM variety of "hairy Canola" developed; Monsanto trying to get approval of older and more powerful herbicide-resistant crops
Fertilizer Fibs: Soil tests have drastically overestimated need for phosphate
It's the Bees' Knees: Bee pollination improves quality as well as quantity
Ketchup: Heinz is taken over by US hedge funds and closes plant in Leamington after 104 years in business
Protection Racket: for pesticide companies, that is
Spin the Revolving Door: CropLife Canada gets a senior CFIA bureaucrat and an MP to enhance its lobbying
Hawaii Update: GM is banned at the county level on several of Hawaii's islands
Food Security Technologies: The language of food security is co-opted by biotech, nanotech, fertilizer and agro-toxin corporations
Surprise! Bison Don't Fatten: Research shows bison want grass, don't get fat on grain like cattle do.

Issue 299

Please Note:  We make each issue of The Ram's Horn available for free download as it appears in print. Whether or not you want a paper copy mailed to you, we invite you to make a contribution to our research and production costs - the regular subscription is $25 CDN per year (10 issues) plus extra postage to addresses outside Canada, and you can add $25 or more to support us as a Patron.

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the remnants of a farmThanksgiving: Grace composed by Rebecca Kneen
Food Sovereignty and Supply Management: The Harper government is bent on destroying the elements of food sovereignty that farmers and others have built over the years. We need to think differently.
High Price of Buying Votes: The food industry spends big to defeat an initiative which would force labeling of GE foods in Washington State.
Protests Halt Monsanto Project: Protests have stopped Monsanto building a plant in Argentina; A Mexican judge orders a halt to planting GE crops.
No GM pubses, thank you:The head of one of the worlds largest traders in pulses opposes GM
Roundup Remains: A new study shows alarmingly high residues of glyphosate in crops harvested in Argentina
Drugs for Production Animals: Animal pharmaceuticals are a big money-maker.
More Agribusiness Consolidation: Agrium and Viterra this time.
Cargill Updates: A new oil crushing plant in Russia, and a new CEO focused on financialization.
Agropoly: An interesting and important new resource on just how the food system is organized and controlled.
New Immigrants /Investors: Export plans for Chinese farmers in Manitoba.
Was Colonialism Ever More Cynical?: Analysis of the "The New Alliance for Food and Nutrition Security" and other corporate-government initiatives to take over African agriculture.
Who Will Feed Us?: ETC Group's new publication on the Industrial Food Chain versus the Peasant Food Web.

Issue #298

Please Note:  We make each issue of The Ram's Horn available for free download as it appears in print. Whether or not you want a paper copy mailed to you, we invite you to make a contribution to our research and production costs - the regular subscription is $25 CDN per year (10 issues) plus extra postage to addresses outside Canada, and you can add $25 or more to support us as a Patron.

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Muddled Thinking on the Middle Class: Confusing middle income with middle class helps hide the reality of exploitation behind inequity.
Corporate Irresponsibility: JBS, the owner of XL Foods, is so huge it seems to be able to make its own rules, placing blame for contamination on the CFIA.
Bird Species Threatened: Species are shrinking because of the growth of monoculture cropping, including the disappearance of habitat such as Canada's natural prairies.
Disney Creates Charming Agro-toxin Spray Plane: Disney's newest characted, a 'principled, hard-working and kind' crop duster, receives approval from the US Ag Aviation association.
More on Beemageddon: A new study points out the complexity of threats to bees, including fungicides.
You Are What You Eat, part 2: Plant DNA has been found in human blood.
Food Sovereignty or Corporate Sovereignty: Cargill is now in a position to arrange the world food system to its agenda.
Money Chasing Money Around: Insurance company mergers and acquisitions.
The Perils of Industrial Food Production: New Zealand dairy products banned from some international markets on reportts of botulism contamination.
Haitian Peasant Group Wins Food Sovereignty Prize: A group made famous by their refusal to accept Monsanto's disaster aid of GMO seeds wins the Food Sovereignty Prize; the World Food Prize goes to execs from Monsanto and Syngenta.
African Food Sovereignty: African farmer coalition moves to support small-holder farmers and their seed supplies in the face of African and foreign attempts to control them.
Bruised Fruit: A reflection on the changes in Del Monte over the decades.
Syngenta on the Attack: In defense of atrazine, Syngenta tries to discredit critics.

Issue 297

Lead Article: 
DEMOCRACY AND THE STATE

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Democracy and the State: A reflection on the effects of corruption and the destruction of the democract institutions on food sovereignty in Canada.
Inequity: ActionAid report - how many executive salaries it would take to feed all the world's hungry
Cargill News: Long term strategic thinking to stay on top of the food chain.
The Monsanto File: To our dismay, we have to keep reporting on the shenanigans of the corporation everyone loves to hate: further expansion of GE crops in Europe, the drop in protein content of soy (a key GE crop) in Argentina, stray GE seeds found in Oregon and Kansas which are hurting the US' export market, Monsanto wins court case against farmer in the US, Milking the "subsidy cow", Maine passes a 'reight-to-know act.
Even Worse Than We Thought: A new report in the journal Entropy reveals potential links between glyphosate and a range of health problems and diseases, including obesity and Alzheimer's.
Sobey's Buys Safeway: The predominant Maritime grocery chain pays $5.8 billion cash for the Western grocery chain.
Hawaii: Food and Sovereignty: Hawaiians protest the imposition of genetic engineering, stating that their indigenous culture sees it as sacreligious and linking food sovereignty with political sovereignty.
Neonicotinoid pesticides linked to bee death: cartoon

Issue #296

Lead Article: 
BOUNDARIES AND BORDERS

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Boundaries and Borders: Brewster reflects on a Vancouver gathering with Indigenous thinkers on land, and ponders the process of identifying territories with respect for the ecology and history of the area along with the need to continuously negotiate boundaries.
Fluid BoundariesOttawa abandoning swaths of prairie grassland: excerpts from an article by Trevor Herriot on the Federal government's decision to abandon responsibility for 9,300 square km. of prairie and open it to privatization.
GM Canola Label: Even the Canola Council recognizes that customers want labeling.
German Fields GMO-Free: No commercial GMO crops were grown in Germany in 2012 and 2013 will be the same, a result of consumer pressure.
Corporate Seed Destroys Food Sovereignty: A session at the World Social Forum on Peasant Seeds concludes that peasants must be autonomous in terms of seeds.
Drought Resistant Varieties: A drought tolerant maize is developed with conventional breeding.
Greece's Great Urban Exodus: Young people are fleeing to the homes their grandparents left, where they stand a chance of making a living.
Antibiotic Resistance: Ontario Medical Association advocates strong controls on the agricultural use of antibiotics, to protect their use in medicine. The industry is in denial.
Patenting the Public Domain: Nestlé claims ownership of fennel seed despite centuries of traditional medical use.
Monarch Butterflies Lose Grouns: Loss of a major food source as a result of RoundUp use is resulting in substantial reduction in numbers of the iconic butterflies.
Decoding Rhetoric: Some tips on how to make sense of the information flowing from the biotech industry and its partners and front groups.

Issue 295

Lead Article: 
Milk, Marvellous Milk

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Milk, Marvellous Milk: Our holiday in Spain got us thinking about yoghurt, the dairy industry, and the promotion of infant formula by the ever-powerful food industry.
Nestlé buys Pfizer Nutrition: The announcement notes that 85% of their business is in "emerging markets", i.e. promotion of formula in poor countries.
Playing with your food:In the largest food transaction ever, H.J. Heinz has been bought out, with huge profits to the speculators .
Recalcitrant Triffid: Still reeling from the effects of GMO flax, the industry inexplicably welcomes a new herbicide-resistant variety.
Herbicide tolerance/resistance: Weed scientists observe multiples resistance to a 'rainbow of herbicides'
Monsanto profits increase: mostly because of seed sales in Latin America
Feeding the Dragon: "Global soya cultivation is synonymous with monocultured GM agriculture."
Biofuel Rundown:
     [Not] Food Security: U of Saskatchewan's new Institute pushing biofuels as an element of food security -- really.
     Dust Bowl, Again: US prairie is being converted to corn and soy, with predictable results 
The Food Policy Bandwagon: The food industry, in the form of the Conference Board of Canada, is trying hard to pre-empt the grassroots call for a national food security policy
Killer Heat Waves and Floods Linked to Climate Change: Journalist Stephen Leahy reports on new European scientific studies
Old Calories: Fred Kirschenmann tells farmers that we need to change our farming practices now while we still have some choice.

Issue 294

Lead Article: 
Idle No More

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Idle No More: The Harper regime's removal of environmental protection of lands and waterways is just the latest blow to food security for Indigenous peoples and has sparked a growing movement, led by Indigenous women and youth, to force the Harper regime to respect Treaty rights
Protest Omnibus Bill C-45New Zealand: Maori Act to Protect the Environment: Maori cite GMOs as an affront to their culture, health, and wellbeing, as well as a violation of their treaties.
GMO Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Poland and other European countries have responded to the EU directive forcing them to allow sales of GMO seeds by passing new laws which forbid farmers to plant them.
Séralini-Glyphosate update: Legal action begins against the ill-founded attacks on Séralini's research showing definite harm from ingestion of Monsanto's glyphosate herbicide, RoundUp -- see RH #293
The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: The Nature Institute devastates the reductionist analysis on which genetic engineering is based
Corporate News & Updates:
     Renewable fuel lobby shifts focus (from ethanol to bio-diesel)
     Keep Your Eyes on the Prize (CropLife wants more public money for their research)
     Corporate Takeovers (ConAgra, Saputo, NY Stock Exchange)
     Monsanto Executive Compensation (nobody actually earns $14 million!)
Financialization of Food: Abstract of a very clear analysis by Professor Jennifer Clapp
Low-Level Contamination: Canada is putting a wedge in the door for GMOs by pushing for a policy allowing low-level presence of GMOs in imported grain
Wrecking Rural Communities: The Conference Board of Canada recommends a national food policy that will devastate the countryside
A Hotter World Is a Hungry World: A report by Stephen Leahy on the real effects of global warming.