Wisconsin’s Emerald Ash Borer Restrictions Remain Despite Federal Quarantine Changes
“Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) announced significant changes to the federal quarantine on emerald ash borer (EAB) and the movement of products and materials that could transport the tree-killing insect.
“These changes would have allowed the free movement of those materials into small areas of our state currently covered by the federal quarantine.
“While I understand and appreciate the circumstances that led to the agency’s decision, Wisconsin’s vast ash resource is too important and valuable to put at further risk. Consequently, Wisconsin will uphold a state quarantine and continue to restrict the movement of potentially infested ash products and hardwood firewood into the state from areas where EAB is known to exist.
“Businesses and industries inside the current USDA quarantine areas that have been previously working with USDA APHIS to bring those materials, such as timber products, into the state under certain conditions will, beginning July 1, 2012, be required to maintain those same agreements with Wisconsin, by working with the appropriate programs at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
“Additionally, visitors to Wisconsin from EAB-infested areas will be required to leave their hardwood firewood behind. Good, inexpensive firewood is available across our state; there’s no need to put our resources at risk for the sake of a few dollars.
“For Wisconsin residents, the upcoming change to the federal quarantine will have no effect on the quarantines that exist in the state. I ask that you continue to abide by those quarantines and help protect the ash trees in our state’s yards, parks and forests for now, and for generations to come.” For more information, go to: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2012/05/eab_quarantine.shtml.
FDA Rejects Bid to Rename High Fructose Corn Syrup “Corn Sugar”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected a petition by the Corn Refiners Association to change the name high fructose corn syrup to “corn sugar” on nutritional labels.
Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, had repeatedly urged the FDA to turn down the industry’s bid.
Urvashi Rangan, PhD., the director of the Consumer Safety Group at Consumer Reports, said, “The FDA did the right thing. High fructose corn syrup is not ‘corn sugar.’ If the name had been changed, it would have given consumers the wrong impression that this product is ‘natural.’ This is a corn starch that has to be chemically processed. The term ‘corn sugar’ simply doesn’t reflect the chemical changes that take place in production. Consumers know the term high fructose corn syrup, and they should be able to easily differentiate among products that use it.”
A Consumer Reports National Survey conducted in July 2007 indicated that a large majority of consumers—83 percent—do not believe that ingredients like high fructose corn syrup should be used in products labeled as “natural.”
Poland Beekeepers Kick Monsanto Out of the Hive, Successfully Ban Bee-Killing GM Corn
A significant health freedom victory has taken place in the European nation of Poland, where all plantings of Monsanto’s MON810, a genetically-modified (GM) variety of maize (corn) that produces its own built-in Bt insecticide in every kernel, have been officially banned.
The decision comes after thousands of protesters recently took to the streets in demonstration of the undeniable fact that both MON810 and the chemicals applied to it are at least partially responsible for causing Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the worldwide phenomenon in which entire swarms of honey bees disappear or turn up dead.
“The decree is in the works. It introduces a complete ban on the MON810 strain of maize in Poland,” said Polish Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki, who also explained to the press that pollen from MON810 appears to be responsible for further devastating the already dwindling bee population throughout the country and elsewhere.
According to reports, Poland’s decision to ban MON810 makes it the first nation to formally acknowledge that Monsanto’s GM corn is definitively linked to CCD. It also affirms the findings of several earlier studies that have identified a link between Bt GM crops and bee deaths, including independent research conducted by Pennsylvania beekeeper John McDonald.
McDonald’s research found that bees foraging near Bt crops did not gain the proper amount of weight, and failed to produce honey in their honey supers (honey storage bins) when they should have. Their non-Bt crop counterparts, on the other hand, produced more than double the amount of honey they needed to survive the winter (http://www.naturalnews.com/025287.html).
Back in early March, nine European countries—Belgium, Great Britain, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Ireland, and Slovakia—successfully blocked an effort by the Danish EU presidency to allow expanded cultivation of GM crops in Europe. And around that same time, France imposed its own ban on MON810.
Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to forge ahead in the unmitigated, and largely unregulated, cultivation and use of GM crops. Despite countless grassroots efforts to put at least some restraint on GM agriculture, including a number of state initiatives that would require GMO labeling on food, Monsanto’s products continue to dominate much of the American agricultural landscape.
To learn more about how you can support the preservation of honeybees in your local community, be sure to visit: http://www.honeybeehaven.org/content/take-pledge
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/036010_Poland_Monsanto_GM_corn.html#ixzz1wqmFmEb6. By: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer, The Cornucopia Institute
Foreign interest grows in an old highland staple
Don’t call it a grain.
A few decades ago Peruvians looked down on quinoa, a fixture of Andean diets for centuries, as food for the poorest of the poor—when it was not being fed to chickens. Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, declared 2012 the “year of quinoa” to reverse discrimination against “Indian” foods.
Yet this protein-rich chenopod, a member of the spinach family, no longer needs Mr. Morales’s help. Thanks to a growing global appetite for organic foods, Bolivia earned $64m from quinoa exports in 2011, 36% more than in 2010. Peru banked $23m, almost twice as much as the year before. “Quinoa consumption in industrialised countries used to be a niche market, but…in the past few years we have seen a major leap in demand and pricing,” says Francisco Diez-Canseco of Grupo Orgánico Nacional, a Peruvian exporter. He says that the UN’s decision to take a cue from Mr. Morales and make 2013 the international year of quinoa could push foreign food firms to use it in their products.
As the market for quinoa has grown, so have efforts to cultivate it. In Peru production has risen from 7,000 tonnes a year in the 1980s to 42,500 tonnes last year, aided by new growing regions like the department of Arequipa.
In Bolivia, where land suitable for quinoa is scarce, farmers are squabbling over existing plots. In March residents of two indigenous towns fought with sticks and grenades over the right to grow quinoa in a disputed arid area on their border, leaving 34 people injured. Following days of negotiations and sporadic outbursts of violence, the two sides agreed to share the crop, pending GPS mapping and the presentation of historical documents on boundary claims.
Paradoxically, the increasing popularity of quinoa may hinder Mr. Morales’s campaign to boost local consumption. As world prices rise, Bolivian producers have an ever-greater incentive to ship their crops abroad rather than squander them at their own dinner tables. Whether they will use the proceeds on similarly healthy foods—which are a rarity in the remote highlands—remains to be seen.