Digest – News: Apple-moth exposé, payment limit moving forward, food crisis

starHoly smoking spraygun, Batman!!!: The company that makes one of the apple-moth pesticides that state officials are considering spraying over the Bay Area is coincidentally owned by a wealthy California agribusinessman — one who’s also coincidentally been a generous contributor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other state officials. Oh, and did we mention he owns giant farms that could be harmed by the moth? You know, as long as the Schwarzenegger clan’s houses get sprayed, too, we’ll consider it. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Senator Quixote: An amendment from Senator Charles Grassley, for a hard cap of $250,000 in the Farm Bill on the amount of farm payments an individual can receive, has passed the Senate Budget Committee. (Mulch)

Quiet riot coming: A food crisis will hit before we really feel the other effects of climate change, warns UK’s chief scientist, adding that it’s ‘profoundly stupid’ to cut down forests for biofuels. (The Guardian)

Hive heists: With bee rental prices up thanks to colony collapse disorder, bee thieves are striking hard this winter. (Associated Press; thanks Cookiejill)

Hello, what about in Arkansas?: Wal-Mart has announced a huge program to train 600 farmers over the next three years to supply produce for its local stores in Guatemala. (Los Angeles Times)

Won’t ask, won’t tell: The big food processors who have recalled their products that were made with Downergate meat say their understanding was that the USDA wanted them only to notify retailers, not consumers. (Chicago Tribune)

Only employers have rights in Idaho: Idaho legislators have rejected a bill to punish employers who hire illegal immigrants. Last year they passed a law to prevent such workers from receiving public assistance and killed another that would have required employers to pay for their health care costs if injured on the job. (Capital Press)

Downergate fall guy: One of the two Chino slaughterhouse employees charged with animal cruelty is in jail without bail and doesn’t know why, saying he just did what his boss told him to do. (San Bernardino County Sun)

Be NAIS — or else: House Ag Chair Collin Peterson says the National Animal Identification System will get enforced soon, that “We are kidding ourselves if we don’t understand that we need to have a mandatory ID system." (Brownfield Network) Here’s why we don’t play NAIS.

Produced without artificial ethics: The NYT’s Andrew Martin pulls up the Monsanto-funded astroturf underpinnings of the "American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology," or Afact, a supposedly grass-roots group that came together to defend its members’ right to use an artificial hormone that stimulates milk production. Which just happens to be sold by Monsanto. (New York Times)

"It’s a growing protein environment": Smithfield plans to send a delegation to China soon to explore basing operations there. We’re sure it has nothing to do with lax environmental or worker protections. (Reuters)

Cattlemen can be funny: The headline for this story about how the government has formally rescinded Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co.’s supplier of the year award from the 2004/2005 school year? "USDA To Hallmark: We Want Our Plaque Back." (Cattle Network)

Biotech seed use is at record levels worldwide (Brownfield Network)

Mexico farmers quietly planting forbidden GM corn (Reuters)

NYC votes to distribute 1,000 new permits for street vendors who sell produce in food deserts (Eat. Drink. Better.)

Female activists vandalize Monsanto research farm in Brazil (AP)

2 Responsesto “Digest – News: Apple-moth exposé, payment limit moving forward, food crisis”

  1. What are the chances that Grassley’s amendment will survive? Me thinks not very good.

    And the NAIS thing is just nuts. That said, I know that Joel Salatin and many other farmers are anti-regulation, but isn’t the bigger problem that the regulations are crafted by industry to benefit industry — in as much as a regulation CAN benefit a given industry, that is?

  2. One thing I noticed in the article about the apple moth spraying is that the moth’s presence in California could lead to a closure of export markets for California products. It’s a bit ironic that an invasive pest from a far away place might prevent shipments of goods to far away places.