May 19 , 2006
AFT calls for U.S. farm policy changes
AFT, which says it works to stop the loss of productive farmland and to promote farming practices that lead to a healthy environment, is proposing a new safety net program for commodities that would replace some of the existing subsidy and loan programs. The group also is calling for policy that it says does more to encourage environmental stewardship by farmers while improving access to overseas markets for U.S. farm products.
Two former secretaries of agriculture, Dan Glickman
and Clayton Yeutter, support AFT's proposals for farm
policy reform. Both attended a recent news conference where
a report on the proposals, dubbed Healthy Farms,
Healthy Food, Healthy People, was introduced.
Source: AFBF; Executive Newswatch; May 8, 2006
GRACE offers advice on
attacking animal feedlots
The New York-based Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE) is offering local citizens groups across the nation assistance in compiling lawsuits against animal feeding operations.
The GRACE group's "consultants" are holding meetings when invited to incite outrage against concentrated animal feeding operations.
One of the ways that GRACE assists local activist groups is by lending them UVHounds, portable air monitoring devices that use ultraviolet light to detect airborne particulates such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. The devices are only lent to groups with specific plans to sue animal feeding operators.
Some of the focuses of GRACE consultants are alleged environmental and animal welfare misdeeds of America's dairy farmers (too many animals squeezed into lots and never released to pasture), antibiotic-resistant bacteria being generated in feedlots, smells from animal feeding operations being large-scale human health risks, and antibiotics being given to animals at sub-therapeutic levels (compensating for the animals being raised under stress in confinement).
Source: AFBF; News Advisory; April 27, 2006
Camel milk is in high demand in parts of Africa and the Middle East, says the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Some people think it is a "powerful tonic against many diseases" and others "believe it is an aphrodisiac," the FAO reports. The FAO would like to see assistance to camel herders and nomads for developing camel dairying. The world population of camels is approximately 20 million.
Source: AFBF; Executive Newswatch; April 19, 2006
McDonalds calls for U.S. cattle traceback
A senior director with McDonald's Corp. is calling for the immediate introduction of cattle traceback programs. Citing the importance of consumer trust in the safety of the food they eat, Gary Johnson, senior director of worldwide supply chain management, described traceback of beef to individual cattle as "the foundation of the food industry." Johnson addressed attendees at the World Meat Congress. He said developing a system for animal traceability is the most important thing the cattle industry can do to earn and keep the trust of consumers.
Source: AFBF; Executive Newswatch; May 1, 2006
Big farms under attack
The war against big farms is heating up again.
Residents in six Indiana and Ohio counties received training on how to fight against large-scale farms. Heading up the project is the New York-based Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE).
Source: Doane's Agricultural Report; April 21, 2006; Vol. 69, No. 16-1
Monkeys lay waste to Puerto Rican crops
Farmers in Puerto Rico are fed up with battling tan and white monkeys that regularly descend on fields to eat and destroy squash, melons and other produce. Over the past few years, monkeys have destroyed more crops in Puerto Rico than disease, drought and other natural disasters.
There are about 2,000 of the animals to contend with, most standing more than three feet tall and weighing 30 to 40 pounds. They are descendents of patas and rhesus monkeys that escaped from a medical research laboratory during the 1950s and 1960s.
A plan developed by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources called for trapping the monkeys and selling them to medical researchers. That plan fell through due to a lack of government funding, leaving farmers to contend with the tenacious monkeys on their own. Most reportedly follow the "shoot, shovel and shut up" plan for monkey depopulation.
Source: AFBF; Executive Newswatch; April 11, 2006