Small farmers in California who have led a national movement away from industrial agriculture face a looming crackdown on food safety that they say is geared to big corporate farms and will make it harder for them to survive. The small growers, many of whom grow dozens of different kinds of vegetables and fruits, say the inherent benefits of their size, and their sensitivity to extra costs, are being ignored. They are fighting to carve out a sanctuary in legislation that would bring farmers under the strict purview of the Food and Drug Administration, an agency more familiar with pharmaceuticals than food and local farms. A bill before the Senate is riding a bipartisan groundswell created by recent outbreaks of E. coli, salmonella and other contamination in everything from fresh spinach to cookie dough. And the small farmers face opponents in consumer groups, victims of food contamination, large growers and the Obama administration, who say no farm and no food should get a pass on safety.
The World On Brink Of Biological Disaster After News That A Third Of US Bee Colonies Did Not Survive Winter
Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter. The decline of the country’s estimated 2.4 million beehives began in 2006, when a phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD) led to the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of colonies. Since then more than three million colonies in the US and billions of honeybees worldwide have died and scientists are no nearer to knowing what is causing the catastrophic fall in numbers. The number of managed honeybee colonies in the US fell by 33.8% last winter, according to the annual survey by the Apiary Inspectors of America and the US government’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The collapse in the global honeybee population is a major threat to crops. It is estimated that a third of everything we eat depends upon honeybee pollination, which means that bees contribute some £26bn to the global economy.
TIME TO GROW OUR OWN FOOD & HAVE A BEEHIVE, too! :-/