France Forces Supermarkets to Donate Food Rather than Dump It, So Should U.S.

France recently made it illegal for grocery stores to dump or destroy good food. Instead of letting 1 in 8 Americans go hungry, maybe we should do this too.

An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, around 150,000 tons.

Around 10 percent of that is thrown out by grocery stores just before it reaches its expiration or “best before” date.

Meanwhile, 1 in 8 Americans struggles with hunger.

France has put an end to the waste, by making it illegal for grocery stores to throw out or destroy unsold food, and now the European Union may consider a similar continent-wide law, as the European Parliament just set a goal of cutting food waste in half by 2030.

Charities in France are now able to give out millions more free meals each year to people struggling to afford to eat.

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Background: Genetically Modified Wheat Contamination in Canada and the US

There are no genetically engineered (genetically modified or GM) wheat varieties approved anywhere in the world. None have ever been commercially grown and sold. However, field trials of different GM wheat varieties continue in Canada and the US, at undisclosed locations.

Contamination from Monsanto’s GM herbicide-tolerant wheat

 

Monsanto’s GM trait for glyphosate-tolerance was found in wheat plants growing on a road in southern Alberta in 2017, in a contamination incident reported by Canadian regulators on June 14, 2018.[i]

There have been three GM wheat contamination incidents reported in the US (2013, 2014, 2016), all with Monsanto’s GM herbicide-tolerant (glyphosate-tolerant) “Roundup Ready” wheat.

In 2004, Monsanto withdrew its request for approval of its GM “Roundup Ready” wheat in Canada and the US after protests from farmers and consumers along with resistance in the international market.

The last time Monsanto grew trials of its GM wheat in Canada was in 2004 (2005 in the US).[ii]

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Revealing Food’s Hidden Costs: New Framework for Food and Agriculture

Food Tank – June 4, 2018

“We are trying to pull together the latest scientific results on food systems,” says Müller. “We tried to link together the latest findings of economists, environmentalists, agriculturalists, people looking at labor and trade, and science to fight poverty. If you bring these results together in a new way, you can see that the system is more than all the different parts of the disciplinary sciences working on it.”

To ensure the sustainability of agriculture and food systems, an important step is to account for externalities through market mechanisms. By creating a more comprehensive evaluation framework, decisionmakers can better compare different policies, programs, and strategies, while the market can more accurately value food. TEEBAgriFood hopes their new framework will help achieve their vision of a world where informed decisionmaking upholds public good and ensures nutrition and health for all humans so they can live in harmony with nature.

“Our framework provides a holistic, ethical, wide-angle lens with which to really understand our food systems today,” says Pavan Sukhdev, member of the TEEBAgriFood Steering Committee and Founder-CEO of GIST Advisory. “Because of its holistic approach, this framework is not as easy to apply as a single-lens approach—‘per hectare productivity,’ for example—but it is ethically, socially, economically, and environmentally much more appropriate, and can provide sustainable business models in the context of climate change, changing global demographics, local economies, and health. I want decisionmakers in governments and businesses to realize that they should support the use of this wide-angle lens applied to the full eco-agri-food system instead of the inadequate narrow lens of per-hectare productivity in farms.”

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Mushroom-Based Pesticide Could Make Chemical Pesticides Obsolete

Return to Now – June 4, 2018

This non-toxic fungus-based insecticide kills over 200,000 pesky insects without harming bees.

Cordyceps fungus takes over brain of an ant, then kills it, Peru

A all-natural mushroom-based insecticide could make bee-harming neonicotinoids and most other chemical pesticides obsolete.

It’s not toxic to humans, pollinators, fish, birds or any other non-targeted animal.

This is great news in light of 700 species of American bees recently joining the endangered species list, the entire Gulf coast becoming a dead zone for sea life, and the bird population of Europe freefalling to a third of what it was a few decades ago.

There’s only one catch, it has to be approved by the EPA.

Mycologist Paul Stamets has developed the “most disruptive technology the pesticide industry has ever witnessed” simply by “training” mushrooms to sporulate later, after they’ve been eaten by pesky insects.

He patented two insecticides in 2006 — one for carpenter ants, fire ants and termites, and another for 200,000 other types of insects — using special mushrooms he developed.

Normally mushroom spores repel insects, but Stamets’ mushrooms attract the insects to eat them before they sporulate, and then sporulate and sprout inside of them, right through the insects’ bodies.

According to Stamets, after insects eat the fungi, they “become mummified” and a “mushroom pops out of their head.”

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New Lawsuits Filed Against US Gov’t Regarding Cancer-Linked Pesticides

Anti Media – June 3, 2018

The Trump Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are facing three new lawsuits regarding recently amended practices regarding the use of certain pesticides which have been linked to cancer.

A coalition of conservation and public health groups have filed suit against the Trump Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, accusing the federal government of foregoing an assessment of a pesticide known to have harmful health effects, as well as suspending training for pesticide handlers. The Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Environmental Health and Californians for Pesticide Reform filed suit against the EPA head, Scott Pruitt, accusing him of failing to protect endangered wildlife and the environment by abandoning a safety assessment of the pesticide malathion.

The lawsuit claims the EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have failed to complete their legal mandate to assess and limit the dangers of malathion. According to the World Health Organization, malathion is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

“Its deplorable that the Trump administration is putting human health and endangered wildlife at risk to please Dow,” said Jonathan Evans, environmental health legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Trump and Pruitt aren’t above the law and they have to take reasonable steps to limit the harms of this dangerous pesticide.”

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Toxic Chemicals – PR Nightmare

Counterpunch by – June 1, 2018

As reported by Politico and mentioned at the outset of this article, emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act exposed an unidentified White House source revealing a still-pending federal study on chemicals as “a public relations nightmare.” Imagine that!

But, the news gets even worse. All of Capitol Hill is aware that the EPA helped to bury the federal study that should have prompted warnings about toxic chemicals in hundreds of water supplies. Allegedly, Pruitt intervened to stop the release after the WH warned of “a public relations nightmare.” The report was supposed to be released in January, until EPA intervened. Hmm.

Because of that disquieting statement, alarm bells should be going off in public squares all the way from Seattle to Boston. In fact, further to the point, the Environmental Working Group estimates that more than 1,500 American water systems serving up to 110,000,000 people may be contaminated with chemical toxins. Egad! Chemical toxins are the bad stuff people don’t want inside their bodies. And, that’s a lot of people exposed to chemical toxins.

As recently as February 2018, local officials at Blade, Delaware ordered residents to stop drinking tap water, which is the liquid that comes straight out of the faucet. Why? According to the Associated Press story of May 22, 2018: “Soaring numbers of water systems around the country are testing positive for a dangerous class of chemicals widely used in items that include non-stick pans and firefighting foam.”

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