27.01.2010 |

One Quarter of US Grain Crops Fed to Cars - Not People

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One-quarter of all the maize and other grain crops grown in the US now ends up as biofuel in cars rather than being used to feed people, according to new analysis which suggests that the biofuel revolution launched by former President George Bush in 2007 is impacting on world food supplies. The 2009 figures from the US Department of Agriculture shows ethanol production rising to record levels driven by farm subsidies and laws which require vehicles to use increasing amounts of biofuels. "The grain grown to produce fuel in the US [in 2009] was enough to feed 330 million people for one year at average world consumption levels," said Lester Brown, the director of the Earth Policy Institute, a Washington thinktank that conducted the analysis.

23.12.2009 |

What Was Agreed And Left Unfinished In U.N. Climate Deal

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©Fotografenname:Andreas Dengs,

A conference of 193 countries agreed on Saturday to "take note" of a new Copenhagen Accord to fight global climate change, after two weeks of U.N. talks in the Danish capital.

The accord was not legally binding, and did not commit countries ever to agree a binding successor to the Kyoto Protocol, whose present round ends in 2012.In addition, countries were invited to sign up to the accord, meaning it did not guarantee global participation.

Following is a summary of the decisions in the Copenhagen Accord, and other decisions adopted at the U.N. summit.

17.12.2009 |

Monsanto wins award for worst corporate climate lobbyist in Copenhangen

©photographer: Cornerstone,

The winner of the Angry Mermaid Award 2009, announced by award-winning writer and journalist Naomi Klein at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen today is the biotech giant Monsanto with 37 per cent of the total vote. Oil giant Shell took second place (18 per cent) in the Award for lobbying to sabotage effective action on climate change, followed by the American Petroleum Institute (14 per cent). Agriculture giant Monsanto was nominated for promoting its genetically modified (GM) crops as a solution to climate change and pushing for its crops to be used as biofuels. The expansion of GM soy in Latin America

is contributing to major deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.

16.12.2009 |

U.N. Chief Calls For Compromise At Climate Talks.

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©photographer: Thommy Weiss,

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Danish conference hosts warned ministers on Tuesday to compromise at deadlocked global talks to salvage agreement on a new U.N. climate pact.

Ministers and negotiators from 193 countries struggled to make progress on core issues including emissions cuts and climate finance in the Copenhagen talks, three days before world leaders are meant to seal an accord.

"Three years of effort have come down to three days of action," Ban said. "Let us not falter in the home stretch." The U.N. process is meant to lead to a legally binding treaty next year.

"In these very hours we are balancing between success and failure," said Danish President of the two-week meeting, Connie Hedegaard, at the opening of the high-level phase of the talks. Organizers of the talks said environment ministers would work deep into night on Tuesday to narrow wide differences, saying the bulk of the work must be complete before more than 120 leaders formally joined the meeting on Thursday.

04.12.2009 |

Soy and Agribusiness Expansion in Northwest Argentina

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Photo: Judith/

A new report has been launched titled "Soy and Agribusiness Expansion in Northwest Argentina - Legalized deforestation and community resistance.

The cases of the Wichí communities of the Itiyuro River Basin and Misión Chaqueña, the Creole families of the Dorado River Basin and the Guaraní communities of El Talar". The report is published by CAPOMA (Argentina), La Soja Mata and Chaya Comunicación (Argentina), with the support of:

BASE Investigaciones Sociales (Paraguay).

This report provides important insights into the process of soy and agribusiness expansion, deforestation and eviction of indigenous and rural communities in North West Argentina

01.12.2009 |

Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa urges leaders to resist massive land grabs

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Afrika im Visier (Foto: Dieter Schütz/

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) urged African leaders to resist the Corporate Industrialization of African agriculture which will result in massive land grabs, and for the issue to be raised at the upcoming climate negotiations in Copenhagen [...] The AFSA represents small holder farmers, pastoralists, hunter/gatherers, indigenous people, citizens and environmentalists from Africa.

25.11.2009 |

World Bank to start agriculture fund with $1.5 bln

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World Bank President

Starting with 1,5 of anticipated 20 billion US $ the World Bank will start a trust fund for agricultural loans to developing countries. The fund has been critized by NGO as a top-down approach competing with more democratic concepts of the UN Food agency FAO.

20.11.2009 |

Biofuel push leads to world hunger, economist says

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The planet can produce enough food to feed all of its people a European diet several times over, but the global food crisis persists due in a large part to such misplaced government priorities as the push for biofuels, a Netherlands-based doctor of economics said in Saskatoon Wednesday. What’s more, said Roel Jongeneel of the Wageningen University, the nine billion people expected to populate the planet in 2050 can still be fed a healthy diet with plenty of food left over if world leaders focus more on protecting agriculture and less on growing grains for use as transportation fuels.

19.11.2009 |

UN hunger summit failed for lack of leaders, say agricultural groups

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photo:Dieter Schütz/

”The blatant absence of the heads of state of the G8 countries... was one of the key causes of the total failure of this summit,” La Via Campesina said in a statement, adding that it showed ”an enormous lack of responsibility to resolve this deepening hunger crisis.” ”There were no measures to stop the devastating effects of corporate agriculture or to support domestic peasant-based food production,” said the coalition of groups advocating family farm-based sustainable agriculture.

18.11.2009 |

South African cardinal tells Food Summit: ’Africa needs water, not GM crops’

Farm Afrika
Photo: Lothar Henke/

At the Rome Food Summit which opened yesterday, Cardinal Napier, Archbishop of Durban, said: ”I have the impression that this organization does not know what the real problems of nutrition in Africa are. Africans do not need GMOs (genetically modified organisms), but water. We have our crops that grow well without genetic modifications, as long as you give them enough water. Well help us to build wells, dams and aqueducts; GMOs do not need it.”


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