World Resources Institute: Go Vegetarian To Combat Climate Change

The logical absurdity that a vegetarian diet will to anything to affect earth’s climate is deeply embedded into the radical green movement, which exclusively promotes the UN’s Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy. Note that the study referenced is sponsored by the World Bank! ⁃

Unfortunately, the writer of this story suggests that inventing genetically modified food (GMO) is the future of feeding the world. – TN Editor

The World Resources Institute (WRI), which is supported in part by the U.N., is encouraging humans to give up eating meat. Doing so, they believe, will not only help with food supplies but will also combat climate change. Become a vegetarian or watch the world starve to death and burn is the messaging, I guess.

Writing in their report, the WRI project claims:

Consumption of animal-based foods to rise 68 percent between 2010 and 2050, with an 88 percent increase in consumption of ruminant meat (meat from cattle, sheep, and goats). These trends are a major driver of the food, land, and GHG mitigation gaps. For every food calorie generated, animal-based foods—and ruminant meats in particular—require many times more feed and land inputs, and emit far more greenhouse gases, than plant-based food.

After the begrudging acknowledgment that meat does provide some needed nutrients to people in developing countries, the WRI adds that the increase in meat consumption around the world “is both unnecessary and unhealthy.” Playing the spoilsport, WRI felt the need to then insert that science ” has now identified processed meats as carcinogenic and red meat as probably carcinogenic.”

We get it, leftists, things that humans enjoy are bad and should be taken away from us. Who cares that quinoa tastes like dirt, no matter what you do to it? Massive amounts of red meat might be carcinogenic and forests have to be cut down to accommodate the cows. We should stop eating delicious meat and eat more tasteless quinoa and kale instead.

Well, no thank you. I was once a vegetarian and I ain’t going back. I’m much smarter now than when I was a member of PETA.

I also grew up in the Florida Panhandle surrounded by tree farms, so I don’t buy the “we’re running out of trees” scare tactic. Acres and acres filled with rows upon rows of pine trees blanket the area. As a fun way to combat any leftist tendencies they may have, I love pointing out those tree farms to my kids whenever we visit my dad. I then ask, “So, kids, what do you say whenever your teachers complain about deforestation?” The correct reply, that they’ve learned by looking out of the windows of our car, is, “Trees are a renewable source of energy.”

Of course, raising more cattle to feed this world’s growing mouths will require some deforestation. So, what? There are more trees in this country than when the Pilgrims landed. There are also way more fields containing cattle, too. Lots of deforestation has happened as has even more reforestation. I understand that land is ultimately a limited resource, but we are far from coming close to that limit. Protecting virgin forests is all fine and dandy until it begins to threaten humanity’s ability to flourish. Cut trees down when and where needed, and plant and cultivate trees when and where needed.

Another way to help ensure that everyone has enough food is to put an end to the irrational attack on GMO food. The Green Revolution started by American scientist Norman Borlaug has been attributed with preventing billions of people from starving to death. Imagine how many future people could be fed if we’d stop demonizing big businesses that have the resources and incentives to develop more and better GMO crops.

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codex

Codex Alimentarius: Scott Tips Shreds The Use Of “Scientific Consensus” At CAC42 Meeting

Scott Tips, current head of the venerable National Health Federation, schooled delegates to the CAC42 meeting on using the phony propaganda phrase, ‘Scientific Consensus’, when in fact none existed.

Codex Alimentarius sets UN food safety standards as a joint Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization program. Scott is an example of what one person can do to turn the tide of discussion at the right time. ⁃ TN Editor

Styled as “CAC42,” the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) met in its 42nd session in Geneva, Switzerland this past week of July 8-12, 2019, and I attended the meeting as the National Health Federation’s sole delegate. Populated with 632 participants, this was a large meeting, but one carefully shepherded by CAC Chairman Guilherme Antonio da Costa, Jr. of Brazil and efficiently run by a small platoon of professionals fielded by the Codex Secretariat.

As always, the main object of this meeting was to adopt (approve) all of the food standards and any guidelines already considered and adopted by the subsidiary (lower-level) Codex committees during their own meetings since the previous CAC41 session. And there were plenty to adopt: cadmium levels in chocolate, milk additives, a slew of pesticide levels, lead levels in wines and other commodities, and even quinoa grain size, among numerous others. Some of these agenda items were real snoozers while others were of keen interest and debated harshly. Regardless, the bureaucratic trajectory both underlying and driving this meeting was relentless – get the generally industry-driven standards adopted. To bureaucrats, procedure is everything, the outcome is nothing.

Out of Thin Air …

If you don’t get your way, just move the goal posts. Or at least invent a new term out of thin air. That is the way the Codex science officer decided to react to the unexpectedly stubborn resistance of 55 African countries to a standard for milk additives (emulsifiers and stabilizers), such as trisodium citrate, that the United States and a number of other countries and industry INGOs wanted adopted. With 55 stubborn African countries arguing against adoption, the Chairman could not find “consensus,” the preferred Codex method of reaching agreement to adopt or reject any standard. After all, when consensus is defined as “the absence of sustained opposition,” the Chairman could hardly find “consensus” in the face of 55 naysaying delegations.

So, Markus Lipp, the FAO/Codex science officer and former Monsanto employee, reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out the nearly freshly coined term of “scientific consensus.” First tried, to my knowledge, at the April 2018 Codex Committee on Residues of Vet Drugs in Foods (CCRVDF) meeting in Chicago – where Dr. Lipp sprinkled that pixie dust on the Codex delegates in a vain attempt to overcome the European Union’s and NHF’s strong objections to the adoption of a standard for Zilpaterol, the notorious vet drug that has no therapeutic purpose but to cure sick financial balance sheets – the magical phrase “scientific consensus” was not so magical since it failed to fool most of the delegates and the Chairman there.[1] The Zilpaterol standard went down to defeat.

But with a certain moth-like quality within him that kept him circling the flame that had burned him before, Dr. Lipp could not help but chance using the “scientific consensus” argument at this meeting as well in an attempt to out-maneuver the solid 55-African country roadblock. And the Codex Chairman echoed the phrase as if on cue. You see, if there could be found a “scientific consensus” in favor of the milk-additives standards, as dictated by the Codex Science Officer, then the Codex head table would argue that “scientific” consensus trumps “regular” consensus. Their logic behind this assertion is that since Codex is a scientific body, then scientific consensus is what counts. Forgotten by them, however, is that Codex also makes policy.

As Warren Buffet said once, “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.” Well, the tide went out and those at the head table who had staked their position on “scientific consensus” were soon enough exposed as swimming naked.

I spoke out at the meeting against the fake term “scientific consensus.” In fact, I was the only one. As NHF’s representative, I told them that: (1) I had spent a considerable amount of time reading through the Codex Procedural Manual and that nowhere in it does it use the term “scientific consensus”; (2) That the term “consensus” without any qualifiers appears in the Manual on page 8 and again on page 18 and should be given its ordinary and normal meaning; (3) a dangerous precedent would be set by using a contrived term to push through a standard so strongly opposed; and (4) you simply cannot make up terms as you go along and we either have integrity at Codex or we don’t. I concluded by hammering home the point that the milk-additive standard could not be adopted.

In the end, the Chairman called for a “side session” where the chairman of the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene would mediate between the two sides and reach a general (not scientific) consensus. That was done and the following day the Commission agreed to put back for further study one of the milk-additive standards (trisodium citrate) while adopting the other standards for emulsifiers and stabilizers.

For NHF, though, the most important result to come out of this discussion was to put a stake through the heart of the concept of “scientific consensus.” Without a doubt, the Codex science officer was floating this concept once again so that delegates would start getting used to the concept. It would then be put to use at the next Vet Drug Residue committee meeting (May 2020) to adopt a worldwide standard for Zilpaterol. We cannot have that happen. By strongly challenging this biased and unsupported definition of consensus now, NHF was laying the groundwork for defeating the Zilpaterol standard next year. And interestingly enough, several Codex delegations thanked NHF for having spoken out against “scientific consensus.”

Pesticide Heaven

On another agenda item, NHF unfortunately did not score as well. The Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) had referred to the Commission a number of Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for pesticides that CCPR suggested be adopted at Steps 5/8 (Diquat, Imazalil, Oxamyl, Propamocarb, Propriconazole, Profenofos, Bentazone, Abamectin, Fenpyroximate, Kresoxim-Methyl, Pyriproxyfen, Cyprodinil, Pyraclostrobin, Fludioxinil, Mandipropamid, Spinetoram, Fluopyram, Sulfoxaflor, Fluxapyroxad, Benzovindiflupyr, Cyantraniliprole, Cyazofomid, Lufenuron, Isofetamid, Oxathiapiprolin, Ethiprole, Fenpicoxamid, Norflurazon, Pydiflumetofen, Pyriofenone, and Tioxazafen). The European Union, Norway, and Switzerland objected to the MRLs for a number of these toxic pesticides while Brazil objected to just one of them, Pyraclostrobin, due to acute risk concern for their consumers.

With solid research to back NHF’s objections at Codex – thanks to NHF Executive Director Katherine Carroll who spent a significant amount of time researching their toxicity – NHF supported the comments of the EU, Norway, and Switzerland but went even further and objected to the adoption of all of the named pesticides as health hazards for humans and animals.

So, I told the delegates that “the first problem not considered by the risk assessors is that these pesticides are cumulative. They accumulate in the body, even at low doses, and over time they accumulate greatly and detrimentally to humans. This has not been considered by Codex in setting the MRLs here. The second problem is essentially one of synergy. They are often used together with other pesticides and herbicides. And they have never been tested for safety when used together like this. We do not even know what harm their interactions can cause. We suspect these will be even more harmful than when they are used alone and, indeed, science points in this direction. And the third problem is that these pesticides are Endocrine Disruptors, “gender benders,” even at low levels. It has been demonstrated that fertility problems and birth problems result from their use. This is an increasing concern that we cannot let these problems continue. We must be especially cautious in approving any MRLs for endocrine disruptors.”

I continued, “One of our introductory speakers yesterday morning very correctly stated that We cannot have food security without food safety. We agree. The EU and others at CCPR and here at CAC – in written comments – have mentioned toxicological and similar concerns with a number of the pesticides up here for adoption. We agree with the concerns expressed by the EU and supported by Norway and Switzerland at CCPR, and for that very reason we ask that none of these MRLs be adopted but especially those for Diquat, Imazalil, Propiconazole, and Norflurazon not be adopted and that they be sent back to CCPR for further review and discussion.”

Naturally, the Codex science officer could not resist responding to my comments, claiming that the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Food Additives (JECFA) risk assessments considered all factors and were comprehensive. Never having seen an unhealthy standard that it did not like, the United States delegate spoke up and helpfully asked that the JECFA reply be put in the record.

Cadmium Standard Approved Despite Substantial Objections

Surprisingly, when it came to considering the Maximum Limit (ML) for cadmium in chocolates, there was a knock-down, drag-out fight. Proposed at 0.3 mg/kg, this ML for cadmium was approved by the CAC despite the fact that some 30 countries objected to it as being too lax and a health hazard to children especially. Others, such as Argentina and the United States, dismissed the health concerns in agreement with the JECFA Secretariat, who called any health concerns “insignificant.”

In the mêlée, the EU (representing 21 countries at this meeting) stood its ground opposing the ML of 0.3 mg/kg but was subjected to a short health lecture by the Chairman that there is never a zero risk. The Cameroon delegate responded by asking if it is Codex’s goal to place as many food products on the market with the highest levels of heavy metals as possible? In turn – and taking a page out of NHF’s playbook – the outspoken delegate for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) correctly challenged whether there was consensus on this standard and said we should not put too much faith in JECFA science. Plucky Finland pointed out that there were more delegations against the standard than in support and that it was bad form for the JECFA Secretariat to suggest that he might need to explain the science to a delegation. Cameroon supported Finland while ECOWAS reminded the delegates that “there is still room for improvement with JECFA.”

Papal Infallibility

The cadmium ML for chocolate passed despite strong objections by numerous delegates. Under Codex procedural rules on consensus, the standard should have been stopped. This procedural failure highlights the outsized influence wielded by the Codex “science” officer and overall by JECFA itself.

One of the biggest problems at Codex is delegate susceptibility to the “Papal Infallibility” complex when it comes to science. It doesn’t help that the JECFA Secretariat definitely believes in its own infallibility when it comes to scientific matters (despite frequently admitting large data gaps in available science from which to draw a conclusion). Any pronouncements on the safety of a food standard or pesticide standard that is handed down by JECFA is treated as if they are the stone tablets that Moses brought down from the Mount.

Yet, NHF’s written and oral comments in April 2015 after the Vet Drug Residue (CCRVDF) meeting in Costa Rica reveal that far from handing down stone tablets from the Mount, the JECFA Secretariat has clay feet instead. At that meeting JECFA had announced that recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBST) use had resulted in no increase in mastitis or in pus in milk. “Why then,” I asked, “after such a thorough and systematic literature review did JECFA miss the industry’s own data showing a 79% increase in mastitis from rbST use along with a 19% increase in pus and bacteria in the milk?” I then read from Monsanto’s own warning label for Posilac, its rbST injectable drug, expressly stating that cows injected with Posilac are at increased risk for mastitis. I again asked the Committee, how could JECFA’s supposedly systematic review have missed the industry’s own safety issues? So much for thorough and “systematic” reviews.

Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone is not JECFA’s only scientific stumble. When it came to aspartame – the well-known artificial sweetener with less-known, but still-proven deleterious effects upon humans and animals, which can include seizures, brain tumors, dementia, and weight gain[2] – JECFA got it wrong. Notwithstanding the considerable and increasingly accumulating evidence of aspartame’s toxicity, JECFA declared aspartame “safe” in the early 1980s at a consumption level of 40 mg per kilogram of body weight.[3]

This happened too with glyphosate, ractopamine, and Zilpaterol, all of which JECFA pronounced safe to use at levels that are harming people and animals. In my article published last year about the Codex Vet Drug Residue committee victory over Zilpaterol, I describe in more detail JECFA’s scientific errors and how Codex delegates were and still are seriously mistaken to trust JECFA “science.”[4]

Yet, JECFA and most Codex delegates expect all of us to accept its scientific pronouncements without question. For a scientific body, Codex certainly has a congregation of religious adherents. Of course it is understandable that Codex delegates would want to defer on scientific issues to JECFA because it certainly saves those delegates from having to do their own scientific due diligence. Still, that is what they must do – their own independent inquiries, with an open mind as well. Part of the problem stems from what the JECFA Secretariat himself admitted matter of factly at CAC42 on July 10th, when he confessed that JECFA relies heavily on studies and data from the industry in order to make its safety assessments.

JECFA lacks credibility when it deems a systematic review as complete and yet misses important safety data plainly visible to even the general public. NHF keeps pointing this out to fellow delegates and finally it seems as if some other delegates are catching on, as shown by ECOWAS’ comments at CAC42.

At this most recent Codex meeting – the most important one of the year – the National Health Federation was there to remind fellow delegates that Codex science can be mistaken, misguided, and even corrupted, and that we should not blindly accept whatever swill we have been given to swallow.

NHF thanks its donors who made it possible for NHF to attend and to stop the drive towards twisting Codex procedure so that a new meaning of “consensus” would allow unhealthy standards to be adopted. Without its generous donors, NHF would not have been there to shoot down this stealth tactic that would have gained deceptive momentum in successive Codex meetings. Instead “scientific consensus” lays smoldering in the dust as a reminder to Codex to act with integrity.

© 2019 Scott C. Tips

[1] Scott Tips, “Victory at Codex Over Dangerous Vet Drug,” Health Freedom News, Summer 2018, pp 5-9, at https://thenhf.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Victory-at-Codex-Over-Dangerous-Vet-Drug.pdf.

[2] Mark D. Gold, Independent Analysis of “Opinion of the European Commission, Scientific Committee on Food: Update on the Safety of Aspartame / E951,” Feb. 3, 2003, at http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/scf2002- response.htm.

[3] See, e.g., InChem, “Aspartame,” undated, at http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v15je03.htm. See alsoJECFA Evaluation Monograph, dated 2018, at http://apps.who.int/food-additives-contaminants-jecfadatabase/chemical.aspx?chemID=62.

[4] Tips, supra.




Green New Deal Demands End To Factory Farming

In a panic to cut CO2 emissions, demands are being made to end factory farming and shut down large scale animal operations like feed lots. There are strong overtones of radical veganism and vegetarianism in this movement. ⁃ TN Editor

This week, a petition signed by more than 100,000 people was delivered to Congress, outlining issues that should be addressed in Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey’s (D-MA) Green New Deal. This petition shows overwhelming support for the Green New Deal, and calls for more attention to be brought to how our food system can be reformed to combat climate change. With the food and farming sector being the United States’ largest employer, and the country being one of the highest contributors toward climate change, citizens are calling for action to be taken to protect our world.

As someone in their mid-twenties, I have grown up seeing how climate change is actively impacting me and my community. Here in California, I expect droughts in the summer and extreme wildfires or mudslides in the fall; learning from a young age to always conserve water because the next shortage is just around the corner. Young activists from all across the U.S. have seen similar changes in their home states, and we recognize that our future depends on action being taken to stop the climate crisis before it is too late.

A unique opportunity to address climate change can be found in our agriculture sector—an area which must be made sustainable if we’re going to survive. Climate scientists have identified agriculture as one of the largest contributors to climate change. This an opportunity to shift agricultural practices away from the large scale, conventional farms that currently dominate our food system to a regenerative, locally-focused, small-scale system that values the welfare of the land and those who work it. CFS has identified several focus points that should be implemented with the passing of the GND resolution to cut back greenhouse gas emissions and create a healthier, more sustainable food system.

1. Invest in regenerative, local agriculture

The future of agriculture lies in the shifting of practices away from large scale monocultures towards small and medium-sized diversified farms. We must wean away from the mass amounts of toxic chemical pesticides and fertilizers being used, and instead integrate regenerative practices such as cover cropping, the use of compost, and the implementation of hedgerows as alternatives that not only add nutrients into the soil, but provide many other ecosystem services. Among these, regenerative agriculture protects biodiversity, including the native bees and pollinators that are currently being decimated by conventional agriculture. Our “Regenerating Paradise” video series covers many practices currently being practiced in Hawai’i—including several that can be implemented nationwide—to reduce carbon emissions and protect our soils. Implementing these practices can sustain our food production all while sequestering carbon, protecting pollinators, and promoting on-farm biodiversity.

Switching to these regenerative agriculture practices will not be easy, but it will be beneficial. Despite research showing the vast benefits that come from cover cropping and other regenerative practices, farmers have been slow to start implementing them. Government and university grants, technical assistance, and further research should be funded to help promote these practices, transition farms, and aid the continuous education of farmers and farmworkers. This investment will have far-reaching effects on farms—preserving native pollinator habitat, sequestering carbon, and providing climate-smart food to local communities.

2. Cut meat consumption and shut down environmentally-harmful animal factory farms

Disinvestment from factory farms is necessary, not only from a climate standpoint, but from a larger human and environmental health perspective as well. Large scale animal operations pollute the water, lead to a higher risk of disease in humans, and contributelarge amounts of methane and other greenhouse gases into the air. Cutting back meat consumption, purchasing meat from local sources, and shifting toward plant-based sources of protein are all ways that individuals can help. More people than ever, especially young people, have recognized the harmful impacts of meat consumption and we are turning toward a flexitarian diet, vegetarianism, and veganism as a way to cut back on our carbon footprint. The government has the opportunity to support this effort on a larger scale by providing financial support and technical assistance to ranchers to help them transition to pasture-based and integrated livestock operations that reduce livestock’s impact on climate change and help sequester carbon in the soil.

CFS’s recently launched EndIndustrialMeat.org, a website that highlights some of the negative impacts that come with factory farming, including the vast amount of carbon released into the air and heavy metals being drained into the ground; serious consequences that disproportionately affect rural populations and disadvantaged communities. The GND’s goal to secure clean air and water, healthy food, and a sustainable environment for all communities mean that shutting down these harmful operations is imperative.

3. Reverse the trend of consolidation within the agriculture sector

For decades now, there has been increasing consolidation of seed, livestock, and other agriculture-related companies. These mega-corporations have purchased vast quantities of land and set the rules for how a farm has to run, undercutting disadvantaged farmers and farmworkers, and wrecking rural communities. GND policies can be used to break up these mega-farms, and empower local communities to take back the food system. Breaking up these predatory mega-farms would not only reinvigorate the economies of rural areas, but it would also give these communities access to the healthy, climate-friendly food necessary to slow the rate of climate change.

The growth of small and medium-sized farms would allow farmers and farmworkers to set fair wages and provide safe and humane conditions for themselves and a future for their children. Doing so would not only allow current farmers to continue their operations, but also would open the door for young farmers to have access to the land, resources, and funds needed to operate for a viable, sustainable farm.

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Farms Are Climate Enemies And Must Be Radically Transformed

The UK says farm practices must radically change to be sustainable and friendly to the environment, claiming that the true cost of cheap food is health and climate crisis.

The hallmark of Technocracy is that Technocrats think they are experts at everything, even if they know nothing about it. Pushing agriculture backwards will precipitate a region-wide famine.⁃ TN Editor

The true cost of cheap, unhealthy food is a spiralling public health crisis and environmental destruction, according to a high-level commission. It said the UK’s food and farming system must be radically transformed and become sustainable within 10 years.

The commission’s report, which was welcomed by the environment secretary, Michael Gove, concluded that farmers must be enabled to shift from intensive farming to more organic and wildlife friendly production, raising livestock on grass and growing more nuts and pulses. It also said a National Nature Service should be created to give opportunities for young people to work in the countryside and, for example, tackle the climate crisis by planting trees or restoring peatlands.

“Our own health and the health of the land are inextricably intertwined [but] in the last 70 years, this relationship has been broken,” said the report, which was produced by leaders from farming, supermarket and food supply businesses, as well as health and environment groups, and involved conversations with thousands of rural inhabitants.

“Time is now running out. The actions that we take in the next 10 years are critical: to recover and regenerate nature and to restore health and wellbeing to both people and planet,” said the commission, which was convened by the RSA, a group focused on pressing social challenges.

The commission said most farmers thought they could make big changes in five to 10 years if they got the right backing.

“Farmers are extraordinarily adaptable,” said Sue Pritchard, director of the RSA commission and an organic farmer in Wales. “We have to live with change every single day of our lives.

“We are really keen that farmers feel they are in the driving seat and that they can be a force of change. At the moment, a lot of farmers feel beleaguered and that they have become the bad guys. But without sustainable, secure and safe farming in the UK, we will not survive.”

The commission criticised decades of government policy aimed at making food cheaper, fuelling rising obesity and other health problems. “The true cost of that is simply passed off elsewhere in society – in a degraded environment, spiralling ill health and impoverished high streets,” said the report.

Pritchard said the UK had the third cheapest basket of food in the developed world, but also had the highest food poverty in Europe in terms of people being able to afford a healthy diet. Type 2 diabetes, a diet-related illness, costs the UK £27bn a year, she said.

The commission also said agriculture produced more than 10% of the UK’s climate-heating gases and was the biggest destroyer of wildlife; the abundance of key species has fallen 67% since 1970 and 13% of species are now close to extinction.

To solve these crises, the commission said “agroecology” practices must be supported – such as organic farming and agroforestry, where trees are combined with crops and livestock such as pigs or egg-laying hens.

The commission has also adapted for the UK a recently published scientific dietthat is both nutritious and environmentally sustainable. While it and other studies recommend large reductions in meat-eating, Pritchard said: “There is a strong case to be made [in the UK] to support sustainable beef and lamb in the places where grass is the best thing to grow.”

The so-called planetary health diet calls for more nuts and pulses in diets and Pritchard said these and more vegetables could be grown in the UK. Hazelnuts and walnuts are native to the UK, she pointed out, and some farmers are now starting to grow crops like lentils and quinoa, as well as beans and peas.

The commission said the government must develop a plan to put the countryside and the communities living there at the centre of the green economy.

“[Brexit] creates a once-in-50-years opportunity to change our food and farming system, but we need to act now: the climate emergency makes urgent, radical action on the environment essential,” said Sir Ian Cheshire, chair of the RSA commission and also a senior government adviser.

Gove said: “This report raises issues that are hugely important. We know that it is in the interests of farmers and landowners to move to a more sustainable model.” He added that the government’s agriculture bill would reward farmers with public money for public goods and a new “farm to fork” food review would look to ensure everyone had access to healthy British food.

The report was backed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats. The Green MP Caroline Lucas said: “This monumental report is a powerful and profound account of the ecological transformation of our food and farming system that we urgently need – and where we can start.”

The commission said a new non-profit bank should be set up to provide finance to farmers investing in new practices.

With Brexit uncertainty worrying farmers, the commission urged minister to stop delays on policy and trade decisions and commit to a future-proof ambition by January 2020. It also said schools, hospitals and prisons should buy more sustainably produced British food.

Prof Joanna Price, the vice-chancellor of the Royal Agricultural University, said: “The report paints an honest picture of the challenges and sets out some bold ideas to address them. We strongly agree that farming can be a force for positive change and that rural communities can thrive as a powerhouse for a green economy.”

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The German Green Party Wants To Ban ALL Industrial Farming

The European Green Party is growing alongside the populist movement, and is emerging as the dominant force in Germany. The insanity of banning all industrialized farming would cause massive starvation and even societal collapse. ⁃ TN Editor

The Green party in Germany has said it intends to ban industrial farming as part of a wide-ranging and costly package to combat climate change should they come to power.

Katrin Goering-Eckardt, the party’s leader in the Germany parliament, said her party would establish a fund worth at least €100 billion to finance climate projects including dam construction, reforestation and environmentally friendly transportation projects.

Ms Goering-Eckardt did not go into further details on a timeline for the prohibition of intensively reared meat.

But the proposal is likely to stoke up debate over whether the Greens are still Germany’s Verbotspartei (prohibition party), a nickname they gained in 2013 due to a misjudged plan to introduce a weekly “veggie day”.

Last week Christian Lindner, the leader of the pro-business Free Democrats, warned that the Greens “dream of a meat-less country.”

“Whoever wants to be vegan is free to do so, but the rest of us shouldn’t be banned from eating our schnitzel,” Mr Lindner said.

In a country where pork is still a central part of the diet, such fears have traditionally restricted support for the environmentalists to liberal urban districts.

But Ms Goering-Eckardt told the German tabloid Bild am Sonntag that public attitudes have transformed, with Germans realizing that drastic action on global warming is required.

“Many people have now understood that things are going to change fundamentally,” the 53-year-old said. “The question is whether we make the changes ourselves or allow ourselves to be swept over by the climate crisis.”

The Green party politician said they would publish detailed financing for the fund in the coming weeks. She said that no decision had been made on whether it would be financed through tax hikes or via an increase in public debt.

“What we face is a monumental task which even surpasses the reunification [of Germany] as it demands massive investment over a shorter timeframe,” she said.

Ms Goering-Eckardt also argued that it was a question of Germany doing it itself or facing fines of up to €60 billion (£53.4bn) from Brussels.

The Green party are currently riding a wave of popularity that makes it ever more probable that they will help form the next coalition government in Europe’s largest economy.

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Outback

How To Create A Country With No Heart

Take a lesson in the ultra-radical anti-human, green agenda: It is the identical story in every nation, as clearly seen in Australia. It is not Communism or Fascism, but rather Technocracy, the “science of social engineering.” ⁃ TN Editor
 

Anti-development policies, land-use sterilisation, climate alarmism and green law-fare are destroying the future for our kids and grandkids. Current policies will stack-and-pack the coasts and major cities leaving a depopulated outback to uncontrolled floods and droughts, lantana and woody-weeds, wild cats and dogs, wild fires, feral pigs and the occasional park ranger or tourist bus.

What has happened to Australia’s once-bipartisan policies favouring decentralisation? Why is every proposal to develop an outback mine, dam, irrigation scheme or a real power station now labelled “controversial” by the ABC and opposed by the ALP/Greens?

This coastal-city focus and the hostility to new outback industry (except for wind/solar toys) has surely reached its zenith with the recent state budget for Queensland.

The population of coastal and metropolitan Queensland is surging with baby-boom retirees, welfare recipients, grey nomads, tourists, overseas students, migrants and winter refugees. But the outback is dying with lagging industry and many aging farmers retiring to the coast. We are creating a country with no heart.

This growing urban and seaside population needs power, water and food.

However two critical power-water-food infrastructure projects that have been on the drawing boards for decades did not even rate a mention in the state budget – an expansion of coal-fired power at Kogan Creek and a water supply dam at Nathan Gorge.

The current policy of all major parties is cluttering the countryside with piddling subsidised intermittent power producers like solar panels and wind turbines plus their expensive network of roads and transmission lines. This is inflating electricity prices, and future generations will see this bi-partisan energy policy as a disastrous blunder. It is also a mistake to encourage or subsidise private electricity cartels and put politicians, not engineers, in charge of power generation.

The Kogan Creek power station with its adjacent coal mine was opened in 2007. It is connected to the National Grid and integrated with local gas-fired and solar supplies. It was always planned to add another generating unit at Kogan Creek, but twelve long years have passed with no action.

Kogan Creek is crucial to maintaining a stable power supply to eastern Australia. This was demonstrated recently when a fault temporarily shut down Kogan Creek. The National Grid was barely maintained for about 30 minutes by the battery in SA until other base load generators could be started. With the likely 7 month closure of one damaged generating unit at Loy Yang power station, East Australian electricity supplies are now even more precarious.

Moreover, with the complete failure of the $105M Kogan solar booster and delays to other solar plants in this area which were to be connected to the grid, the duplication of Kogan Creek is urgently needed. (Here is a revealing quote from one of the backers of the failed Kogan solar project: “Solar works extremely well when the sun’s out.”)

Coal produces reliable low-cost electricity from a concentrated area with less real environmental damage than gas, wind or solar. These low density energy sources need much more land to collect equivalent continuous energy from a wide area of bores, pipelines, turbines and solar collectors plus their backup generators, connecting roads and transmission lines. Most CSG wells also need to pump salt water from each bore before the gas will flow. Even if costly processes are used to extract fresh water from this salt water, brines are left behind and must be stored safely. This evil-genie of salt should be left in its underground lair and disturbed as little as possible.

It is becoming clear that that CO2 does NOT drive global warming. Even if it did, when careful life-of-project studies are done for all of Qld energy sources, coal and hydro look likely to have the lowest carbon footprint with the least environmental harm (and they do not slice, dice or fry birds and bats).

The surface disruption from an open cut coal mine is 100% and it shocks the senses. However, it recovers 100% of concentrated hydro-carbon energy from a small area of land – far less than is permanently sterilised by public roads and schools (there is no intention of restoring them). Even if the open cut was abandoned at the end of coal mining, slow but relentless natural healing would immediately start. However, instead of treating the final void as an expensive liability to be refilled with overburden, it should be seen as an asset to be landscaped as a pleasant lake or used for burial of the growing mountains of urban waste.

The need for reliable economical electricity is urgent. However, if Kogan Coal Power is too-close-for-comfort for Jacki Trad, her Environment Minister and the greens of South Brisbane, the next real power station option is Collinsville.

The need to conserve more water is also urgent. Nathan Gorge has been known as an ideal dam site for 50 years, but still nothing is done. The site and catchment make it likely to be a high-yielding, cost-efficient dam. It is vital to the continuing development of the Surat and southern Bowen Basins and its water could be used for irrigation, power generation or fed into the Condamine/Darling River in droughts.

Kogan and Nathan are decentralising projects that could provide community insurance for blackouts, floods and droughts.

It is the outback that produces most of Australia’s food, minerals, energy, water, exports and jobs. And it produces serious income for state governments addicted to ever-rising taxes and royalties.

Anti-development policies, land-use sterilisation, climate alarmism and green law-fare are destroying the future for our kids and grandkids. Current policies will stack-and-pack the coasts and major cities leaving a depopulated outback to uncontrolled floods and droughts, lantana and woody-weeds, wild cats and dogs, wild fires, feral pigs and the occasional park ranger or tourist bus.

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farmland

Foreigners Now Own 30 Million Acres Of Prime U.S. Farmland

Globalization is about taking resources out of the hands of their owners and concentrating in the hands of oligarchs. In the U.S., over 12% of our own shrinking farm acreage is owned by foreign interests. This is the over-arching goal of Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy. ⁃ TN Editor

All across America, U.S. farmland is being gobbled up by foreign interests.  So when we refer to “the heartland of America”, the truth is that vast stretches of that “heartland” is now owned by foreigners, and most Americans have no idea that this is happening.  These days, a lot of people are warning about the “globalization” of the world economy, but in reality our own soil is rapidly being “globalized”.  When farms are locally owned, the revenue that those farms take in tends to stay in local communities.  But with foreign-owned farms there is no guarantee that will happen.  And while there is plenty of food to go around this is not a major concern, but what happens when a food crisis erupts and these foreign-owned farms just keep sending their produce out of the country?  There are some very serious national security concerns here, and they really aren’t being addressed.  Instead, the amount of farmland owned by foreigners just continues to increase with each passing year.

Prior to seeing the headline to this article, how much U.S. farmland would you have guessed that foreigners now own?

Personally, I had no idea that foreigners now own nearly 30 million acres.  The following comes from NPR

American soil.

Those are two words that are commonly used to stir up patriotic feelings. They are also words that can’t be be taken for granted, because today nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farmland are held by foreign investors. That number has doubled in the past two decades, which is raising alarm bells in farming communities.

How did we allow this to happen?

And actually laws regarding land ownership vary greatly from state to state.  Some states have placed strict restrictions on foreign land ownership, while in other states it is “a free-for-all”

“Texas is kind of a free-for-all, so they don’t have a limit on how much land can be owned,” say’s Ohio Farm Bureau’s Ty Higgins, “You look at Iowa and they restrict it — no land in Iowa is owned by a foreign entity.”

Ohio, like Texas, also has no restrictions, and nearly half a million acres of prime farmland are held by foreign-owned entities. In the northwestern corner of the state, below Toledo, companies from the Netherlands alone have purchased 64,000 acres for wind farms.

But even in states where there are restrictions, foreign entities can get around that by simply buying large corporations that own land.

For example, when the Chinese purchased Smithfield Foods in 2013 they instantly gained control over 146,000 acres of prime farmland.  The following comes from Wikipedia

Smithfield Foods, Inc., is a meat-processing company based in Smithfield, Virginia, in the United States, and a wholly owned subsidiary of WH Group of China. Founded in 1936 as the Smithfield Packing Company by Joseph W. Luter and his son, the company is the largest pig and porkproducer in the world.[4] In addition to owning over 500 farms in the US, Smithfield contracts with another 2,000 independent farms around the country to grow Smithfield’s pigs.[5] Outside the US, the company has facilities in Mexico, Poland, Romania, Germany, and the United Kingdom.[6]Globally the company employed 50,200 in 2016 and reported an annual revenue of $14 billion.[2] Its 973,000-square-foot meat-processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, was said in 2000 to be the world’s largest, processing 32,000 pigs a day.[7]

Then known as Shuanghui Group, WH Group purchased Smithfield Foods in 2013 for $4.72 billion, more than its market value.[8][9] It was the largest Chinese acquisition of an American company to date.[10] The acquisition of Smithfield’s 146,000 acres of land made WH Group, headquartered in LuoheHenan province, one of the largest overseas owners of American farmland.[a]

Of course this hasn’t happened by accident.

The communist Chinese government has actually made the purchase of foreign agricultural assets a top national priority in recent years, and this has been reflected in a series of key documents

The strategy is reflected in encouragements to invest abroad by various documents and articles issued by Chinese leaders. For example, a series of annual “Number one documents” from China’s communist party authorities stating rural policy have contained increasingly specific strategies for investment. A general exhortation to invest in agriculture overseas, issued in 2007, was followed by an initial surge in overseas farming ventures. In 2010, authorities called for supportive policies to encourage investment abroad.

The 2014 document included a more specific mandate to create large grain-trading conglomerates, designed to give Chinese companies greater control over oilseed and grain imports. That was the same year COFCO acquired Nidera and Noble Agri, making COFCO one of the largest trading companies in the world based on value of assets. The 2015 document specifically called for policies to support facilities, equipment, and inputs for agricultural production in foreign countries. The 2017 document broadened the encouragement to include all types of agricultural conglomerates. The 2018 document repeated the general endorsement of overseas investment and instructions to create multinational grain-trading and agricultural conglomerates.

In the end, how much Chinese ownership of our farmland would we be comfortable with?

If they owned 20 percent of our farmland, would we be okay with that?

Well, what if that figure surged to 30 or 40 percent?

Would that still be okay?

We need to start asking these sorts of questions, because foreigners are buying up more of our farmland with each passing day, and this is a very real national security threat.

And after this absolutely disastrous year, thousands more U.S. farmers will be forced out of business and it is anticipated that more U.S. farmland will be up for sale than ever before.

I extensively discussed the problems that farmers in the middle of the country are currently having yesterday, and today I would like to share with you a portion of an email that a friend in Missouri just sent me…

I work for a farmer in West-Central Missouri who raises corn, soybeans, and cattle and to say it’s been a challenging Spring would be the understatement of the year!!! We managed to get some corn planted in April but it started to rain and rain and rain and we still have more corn to plant. My boss doesn’t like to plant corn after May 15 and here it is May 27 and we still are not done planting corn. With each late day that passes by the yield goes down so what do you do??? Do we start planting soybeans if or when it dries up even though the price of soybeans is at a record low or do we plant corn that has risen in price but will have a reduced yield??? From April 28 through today (May 27) we have had 10 inches of rain. One day we had 4.5 inches with roads and basements flooded. Last week we had rain 4 out of those 7 days!!! It’s raining again today as I write this!!! We need warm, sunshine, dry, windy days and we get mostly cool, cloudy, rainy days. Next Thursdays low is supposed to be 57!!! If the weather pattern doesn’t change I don’t see how we can ever get the soybeans planted and we have 1,300 acres to plant. There are large farmers in my area that don’t have anything planted.

This truly is a “perfect storm” for U.S. farmers, and many believe that what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Farm bankruptcies are already at the highest level that we have seen since the last recession, and do we really want foreigners gobbling up even more of our farmland from farmers that are incredibly desperate to sell?

Our founders never intended for America to be for sale to the highest bidder, and hopefully more states will start passing laws that will make sure that U.S. farms stay in the hands of U.S. farmers.

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raspberry

Robocrop: Raspberry-Picker Robot Set Boot More Workers

Goodbye fruit pickers. Designed by skilled Technocrats, this robot picker  will out-produce any human field worker by 40% or more. The tech is being adapted to all sorts of delicate crops that need to be picked. ⁃ TN Editor
 

Quivering and hesitant, like a spoon-wielding toddler trying to eat soup without spilling it, the world’s first raspberry-picking robot is attempting to harvest one of the fruits.

After sizing it up for an age, the robot plucks the fruit with its gripping arm and gingerly deposits it into a waiting punnet. The whole process takes about a minute for a single berry.

It seems like heavy going for a robot that cost £700,000 to develop but, if all goes to plan, this is the future of fruit-picking.

Each robot will be able to pick more than 25,000 raspberries a day, outpacing human workers who manage about 15,000 in an eight-hour shift, according to Fieldwork Robotics, a spinout from the University of Plymouth.

The robot has gone on trial in the UK, as the farming industry battles rising labour costs and Brexit-related shortages of seasonal workers.

Numbers of seasonal workers from eastern Europe have diminished, partly due to Brexit fears but also because Romania and Poland’s surging economies have persuaded their own workers to remain in their home countries .

The robot has been developed in partnership with Hall Hunter, one of Britain’s main berry growers which supplies Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose. Standing at 1.8 metres tall, the wheeled machine with its robotic arm has begun field trials in a greenhouse at a Hall Hunter farm near Chichester in West Sussex.

Guided by sensors and 3D cameras, its gripper zooms in on ripe fruit using machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence. When operating at full tilt, its developers say the robot’s gripper picks a raspberry in 10 seconds or less and drops it in a tray where the fruit gets sorted by maturity, before being moved into punnets, ready to be transported to supermarkets.

The final robot version, expected to go into production next year, will have four grippers, all picking simultaneously.

Separate field trials in China have shown the robot can pick tomatoes, and it has also been let loose on cauliflower.

As robots don’t get tired, they can pick for 20 hours a day, but the biggest challenge has been getting them to adapt to different light conditions, says Rui Andres, portfolio manager at Frontier IP, one of the main backers of Fieldwork.

Andres says UK farmers typically pay £1 to £2 for a kilogram of raspberries picked by human workers. Fieldwork intends to lease its robots to farmers for less.

The robot is the brainchild of Dr Martin Stoelen, a lecturer in robotics at Plymouth University, who moved from aerospace engineering into robots and took inspiration from his grandparents’ farm in Norway. By tackling one of the most difficult soft fruits first, he hopes to be able to tweak the technology so the robot can be used to pick other berries, fruit and vegetables.

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Playing God: Crispr’d GMO Food Will Stock Grocery Shelves Within 5 Years

The FDA is lobbied and dominated by Big-Ag Technocrats who insist that GMO food is ‘substantially equivalent’ to its natural counterpart, so the GMO food race is full-speed ahead. This trend will substantially change the entire global food chain.  ⁃ TN Editor

A geneticist at the University of California who helped invent the gene-editing tool Crispr told Business Insider she believes its most profound impacts will be on food.

Several Crispr’d crops have already been made, and although you can’t buy them yet, she said she expects to see them in grocery stores within 5 years.

In Silicon Valley, some startups are even using Crispr to make lab-grown meat.

The geneticist, Jennifer Doudna, was named to Business Insider’s list of the10 People Transforming Healthcare.

While ethicists debate the applications of blockbuster gene-editing tool Crispr in human healthcare, an inventor of the tool believes it has a more immediate application: improving our food.

“I think in the next five years the most profound thing we’ll see in terms of Crispr’s effects on people’s everyday lives will be in the agricultural sector,”Jennifer Doudna, the University of California Berkeley geneticist who unearthed Crispr in early experiments with bacteria in 2012, told Business Insider.

Crispr has dozens of potential uses, from treating diseases like sickle cell to certain inherited forms of blindness. The tool recently made headlines when a scientist in China reportedly used it to edit the DNA of a pair of twin baby girls.

Then there are Crispr’s practical applications — the kinds of things we might expect to see in places like grocery stores and farmers’ fields within a decade, according to Doudna.

Work on Crispr’d produce has been ongoing for about half a decade, but it’s only recently that US regulators have created a viable path for Crispr’d products to come to market.

Back in 2016, researchers at Penn State used Crispr to make mushrooms that don’t brown. Last spring, gene-editing startup Pairwise scored $125 million from agricultural giant Monsanto to work on Crispr’d produce with the goal of getting it in grocery stores within the decade. A month later, Stefan Jansson, the chief of the plant physiology department at Sweden’s Umea University, grew and ate the world’s first Crispr’d kale.

More recently, several Silicon Valley startups have been experimenting with using Crispr to make lab-grown meat.

Memphis Meats, a startup with backing from notable figures like Bill Gates and Richard Branson that has made real chicken strips and meatball prototypes from animal cells (and without killing any animals), is using the tool. So is New Age Meats, another San Francisco-based startup that aims to create real meat without slaughter.

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GMO

GMO Cooking Oil Quietly Arrives In Restaurants

Flipping logic upside-down, the Technocrats at Calyxt state: “At Calyxt, we believe it is unethical NOT to use our technologies to address these issues head-on.” In reality, GMO is not equivalent to traditional plant husbandry. ⁃ TN Editor

Somewhere in the Midwest, a restaurant is frying foods with oil made from gene-edited soybeans. That’s according to the company making the oil, which says it’s the first commercial use of a gene-edited food in the U.S.

Calyxt said it can’t reveal its first customer for competitive reasons, but CEO Jim Blome said the oil is “in use and being eaten.”

The Minnesota-based company is hoping the announcement will encourage the food industry’s interest in the oil, which it says has no trans fats and a longer shelf life than other soybean oils. Whether demand builds remains to be seen, but the oil’s transition into the food supply signals gene editing’s potential to alter foods without the controversy of conventional GMOs, or genetically modified organisms.

Among the other gene-edited crops being explored: Mushrooms that don’t brown, wheat with more fiber, better-producing tomatoes, herbicide-tolerant canola and rice that doesn’t absorb soil pollution as it grows.

Unlike conventional GMOs, which are made by injecting DNA from other organisms, gene editing lets scientists alter traits by snipping out or adding specific genes in a lab. Startups including Calyxt say their crops do not qualify as GMOs because what they’re doing could theoretically be achieved with traditional crossbreeding.

So far, U.S. regulators have agreed and said several gene-edited crops in development do not require special oversight. It’s partly why companies see big potential for gene-edited crops.

“They’ve been spurred on by the regulatory decisions by this administration,” said Greg Jaffe of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a health watchdog group.

But given the many ways gene editing can be used, Jaydee Hanson of the Center for Food Safety said regulators should consider the potential implications of each new crop. He cited the example of produce gene-edited to not brown.

“You’ve designed it to sit around longer. Are there problems with that?” he said.

Already, most corn and soy grown in the U.S. are herbicide-tolerant GMOs. Just last week, regulators cleared a hurdle for salmon genetically modified to grow faster. The fish is the first genetically modified animal approved for human consumption in the U.S.

Though regulators say GMOs are safe, health and environmental worries have persisted, and companies will soon have to disclose when products have “bioengineered” ingredients.

Calyxt says its oil does not qualify as a GMO. The oil is made from soybeans with two inactivated genes to produce more heart-healthy fats and no trans fats. The company says the oil also has a longer shelf life, which could reduce costs for food makers or result in longer-lasting products.

Soybean oils took a hit when regulators moved to ban oils with trans fats. Other trans fat-free soybean oils have become available in the years since, but the industry has found it difficult to win back food makers that already switched to different oils, said John Motter, former chair of the United Soybean Board.

Calyxt said the first customer is a company in the Midwest with multiple restaurant and foodservice locations, such as building cafeterias. It said the customer is using it in dressings and sauces and for frying, but didn’t specify if the oil’s benefits are being communicated to diners.

Calyxt is working on other gene-edited crops that it says are faster to develop than conventional GMOs, which require regulatory studies. But Tom Adams, CEO of biotech company Pairwise, said oversight of gene-edited foods could become stricter if public attitude changes.

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