WELCOME TO THE AGRICULTURE SECTION OF THE ADC WEBSITE
Here you will find a wide variety of pdf files and other information on critical agriculture issues facing all of us. The United States, other countries, and a myriad of corporations are engaged in a wide variety of experiments that are now having profound impacts on agriculture, water supplies, our honey bees and other pollinators, and human health.
Geoengineering, ongoing experimental weather modification programs, and other atmospheric programs are also threatening crop production and our water supplies. Solar Radiation Management (Geoengineering) will reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the earth and our croplands. These programs will reduce photosynthesis and lower crop production while polluting our air, water, and soil with toxic chemicals. (See the photosynthesis poster below.)
Cropland is also being taken out of production at staggering rates in order to put ethanol in our gas tanks. Trees are now being harvested for ethanol production threatening to bring back clear-cutting (now being done in several areas in the United States and Canada), in order to be used, on a one-time only basis, for fuel in our gas tanks. Clear-cutting should be stopped everywhere today. Sustainable methods of tree cutting for homes is better using trees and crops for this one-time use in our gas tanks.
Genetically modified foods and seeds are finding their way into the food chain and are now being heavily promoted here in the United States by President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. GM seed and chemicals companies are working together to make sure that the only seeds and food we can eat are those that they own. The profits from control of our food is enormous and they power that the can wield with this monopoly is staggering in scope.
The corporate privatization of our water is underway across the United States. And one has to be aware that once privatized those that own it can do with it anything they want with this prized resource; sell it to the highest bidder at the highest prices. Americans need to stand together and stop the privatization of our water supplies. Once a private corporation owns our water they can add any chemicals without restrictions and charge any amount of money for their product. Agriculture will no longer be viable due to increased costs from privatization of water.
There is a video at the end of the pdf files on the factory food that you may be eating at any time now or in the future. It is what awaits us if we fail to speak out and take action today against these policies. Eating factory and genetically modified food is the choice we all make by not speaking out against these policies.
The Environmental Protection Agency has been protecting and cleaning up our water supplies for many years. They enforce air and water pollution under the Clean Air and Water Acts. Now, President Obama and the U.S. Congress is moving toward radically cutting their powers to enforce this act and their staffing to implement protections we have all depended upon for clear water, air, and soil. Action is needed today to protect the Clean Air and Water Acts and their staffing to enforce these acts. (See the EPA Section of this website.)
The introduction of genetically modified seeds and the release of atmospheric chemicals are endangering Organic Food production in the United States and other countries. Cross-Pollination of crops and other issues threaten the very existence of Organic Foods. And now with Geoengineering, weather modification, and other upper atmospheric experiments being conducted at record levels all agriculture production is threatened not just the organic food markets.
Agriculture and Forest Lands are now being used to produce Ethanol for our Gas Tanks and Aviation. These uses will mean severe food shortages in the near future along with rising costs in food prices. We should not be using prime agriculture and forest lands for Ethanol production.
New Threats to Agriculture - Reduced Photosynthesis
Geoenigneering Shemes, Global Dimming , and Man-Made Clouds are Reducing the Amount of Direct Sunlight reaching the Earth. This is changing our weather, local micro-climates needed for crop production, and reducing the amount of Photosynthesis that all plants and trees need to survive and produce crops. If we artificially reduce the amount of direct sunlight reaching the Earth crop production will be reduced.
"Heat & Harvest" Quest PBS Program - September 28, 2012 - 2 Videos "...Like what you see in the supermarket produce section? Enjoy, because things may be changing there – the prices, even the mix of available fruits, nuts and veggies. Long acknowledged as "the nation's salad bowl," California's farm belt is facing some thorny challenges from our changing climate: rising temperatures, an uncertain water supply and more abundant pests that threaten multi-billion-dollar crops. The half-hour documentary Heat and Harvest, a co-production of KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting, examines these threats and some potential solutions..."
"...The first story in the program, Uncool Cherries, looks at the challenges facing cherry growers near Stockton. Life is hardly a bowl of cherries if you're trying to grow them in California lately. Cherries and other major fruit crops need a certain number of "chilling hours" in order to produce healthy blossoms and fruit. But in recent years, the spring nights have brought warmer temperatures and less of the legendary Valley fog that helps keep the chill on. (Reporter: Mark Schapiro / Producer: Serene Fang)..."
"...The second story, Dry and Salted, examines the major wildcards in California's farming future: water and salt. Growers are having to learn to get along with less of the first and more of the second. That can mean leaving once-productive fields fallow or having to find less water-intensive crops and irrigation methods. But water quality is also presenting a challenge as growers find themselves having to cope with salt in their groundwater and the threat of encroaching saltwater from rising seas. (Reporter: Mark Schapiro / Producer: Serene Fang)..."
"...Heat and Harvest ends with Some Bugs Like it Hot: Climate Change and Agricultural Pests, a look at how climate change is making agricultural pests more abundant in the state’s fields. A tiny insect that didn’t used to pose a problem for California farmers is now transmitting a disease that damages potato chips and threatens the state’s tomato crop. Are more pesticides the answer? We talk to farmers and scientists to see what's being done to meet the challenge. (Producer: Gabriela Quirós / Program Host & Reporter: Craig Miller)..."
More from QUEST •Some Bugs Like it Hot: Climate Change and Agricultural Pests •Uncool Cherries •Dry and Salted •The Heat is On For California Wines •Napa Wineries Face Global Warming
C-SPAN Interview-Video - Washington, DC - Sunday, August 12, 2012 "...This week on Newsmakers, Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, talks about the impact of the drought on farm lands in 32 states. Secretary Vilsack also discusses the impact of the drought on food prices for U.S. consumers, the Obama Administration’s response on disaster aid for farmers and ranchers, and the future of the Farm Bill that was recently passed by the Senate but awaiting action in the House of Representatives. Our guest reporters are Ron Nixon, Washington Correspondent for the New York Times, and Alan Bjerga, Agriculture Policy Reporter for Bloomberg News..."
Todd Tucker, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch joins Thom Hartmann for an Interview on: What is in your food and where is it coming from? Do you now what's REALLY on your dinner plate? Well - it's becoming increasingly difficult for you to find out and there may be very little our lawmakers can do about it. Do you know what's in your dinner? Chances are...you probably don't. That's because recent rulings by the World Trade Organization (WTO), have made it harder and harder for Americans to know if what they're eating is safe - and exactly where it came from. For example - the WTO recently struck down a law passed by Congress and signed by the President in 2008, that required labels on all meat so that we know in what country the cattle was born, raised, and slaughtered. Think about that for a second - laws passed by our elected Representatives are being struck down by foreign bureaucrats and corporations through the World Trade Organization. Also this year - the WTO struck down dolphin-safe tuna labels - arguing that it would do economic harm to foreign fishing fleets that slaughter dolphins in the process of catching tuna. So why is this? Why is it suddenly illegal for us to know more about what's in the food we eat? And why are we as a nation bending at the will of the WTO? Factory Food-Insufficient or no labels...food created in a test tube and processed for human consumption. What is in our future?
Home Project - May 12, 2009 Video
We are living in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have ten years to change the way we live, avert the depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth's climate. The stakes are high for us and our children. Everyone should take part in the effort. The HOME project has been conceived to take a message of mobilization out to every human being.
CLICK ON THE ABOVE LINK TO VIEW THE FACTOR FOOD VIDEO. This shows the Factory Food that you may be eating the next time you go to a restaurant or buy a food product in your grocery store.
*Food, Inc. PBS NOW March 10, 2010 Video "...Americans have a longstanding love affair with food—the modern supermarket has, on average, 47,000 products. But do we really know what goes into making the products we so eagerly consume? This week, David Brancaccio talks with Robert Kenner, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary "Food, Inc.," which takes a hard look at the secretive and surprising journey food takes on the way from processing plants to our dinner tables. The two discuss why contemporary food processing secrets are so closely guarded, their impact on our health, and another surprising fact: how consumers are actually empowered to make a difference. Find out why you'll never look at dinner the same way./This show was originally broadcast on June 5, 2009/..."
By Aaron Hepker
SEPTEMBER 12, 2011 at 7:11 PM CDT
"...WEST CHESTER, Iowa — Crop yields could hit a 20 year low in Southeast Iowa. Farmers say extreme heat and few rain showers are to blame for the severe drought. In the Washington area, much of the farmland turned from green to yellow to brown. The lack of rain not only looks bad, but for farmers, it’s drying up a big chunk out of their bottom line...Smaller corn yields means fewer bushels and less money. “It’s less that we have to sale to add to our bottom line,” said Rob Stout. But the drought didn’t spare livestock. Their hogs haven’t gained enough weight to pull in top dollar. “They didn’t get as heavy because the heat really halted their weight. We put sprinklers in their buildings and we tried to keep them wet, but they can only gain so much with the hot weather,” said Rob Stout. So they’re about 20 pounds light, making each one worth about $17 less. “It doesn’t take very much loss in yield or hog prices to get into a loss position,” said Bob Stout..."
Feds keep buying ammonia-treated ground beef for school lunches By David Knowles Monday, March 5, 2012
A look inside the Beef Products Inc. plant in South Sioux City, Neb., where “pink slime” is made.
PHOTO: Greg Zabilski/ABC
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver demonstrates the ammonia-treated beef process.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s continued purchase of so-called pink slime for school lunches makes no sense, according to two former microbiologists at the Food Safety Inspection Service.
“I have a 2-year-old son,” microbiologist Gerald Zirnstein told The Daily. “And you better believe I don’t want him eating pink slime when he starts going to school.”
It was Zirnstein who first coined the term “pink slime” after touring a Beef Products Inc. production facility in 2002 as part of an investigation into salmonella contamination in packaged ground beef. In an email to his colleagues shortly after the visit, Zirnstein said he did not “consider the stuff to be ground beef.”
Made by grinding together connective tissue and beef scraps normally destined for dog food and rendering, BPI’s Lean Beef Trimmings are then treated with ammonia hydroxide, a process that kills pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli.
The resulting pinkish substance is later blended into traditional ground beef and hamburger patties.
For retired microbiologist Carl Custer, a 35-year veteran of the Food Safety Inspection Service, the idea of mixing in BPI’s Lean Beef Trimmings into more nutritious, pure ground beef was itself problematic.
“We originally called it soylent pink,” Custer told The Daily. “We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat.”
Custer said he first encountered the product — which gained fame recently as “pink slime” in part due to the efforts of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver — back in the late 1990s. Despite voicing his concerns to other officials at the food inspection service, however, the USDA ruled that Lean Beef Trimmings were safe. “The word in the office was that undersecretary JoAnn Smith pushed it through, and that was that,” Custer said.
Appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1989, Smith had deep ties with the beef industry, serving as president of both the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and the of the National Cattlemen’s Association.
“Scientists in D.C. were pressured to approve this stuff with minimal safety approval,” Zirnstein said.
A baseline study conducted by Zirstein and Custer classified the trimmings as a “high risk product.” Zirnstein says the food inspection service ignored their findings, and commissioned a separate study to assess the safety of BPI’s meat.
The USDA, which plans to buy 7 million pounds of Lean Beef Trimmings from BPI in the coming months for the national school lunch program, said in a statement that all of its ground beef purchases “meet the highest standard for food safety.” USDA officials also noted that the sole role of the food inspection service is to determine the overall safety of the nation’s food supply, not to make judgments on a product’s relative merits.
But Zirnstein and Custer say that the USDA now finds itself in the odd position of purchasing a product that has recently been dropped by fast-food giants McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell.
“My objection with having it in the schools is that it’s not meat,” Custer said.
In 2005, the USDA limited the amount of ammonia-treated Lean Beef Trimmings in a serving of ground beef to 15 percent, but lax labeling requirements mean that it is virtually impossible as a consumer — and for parents of children at a schools where “pink slime” is a part of lunch — to know whether a given package of ground beef or hamburger patty contains it.
“The USDA-AMS [Agricultural Marketing Service] does allow for the inclusion of BPI Boneless Lean Beef in the ground beef they procure for all their federal food programs and, according to federal labeling requirements, it is not a raw material that is uniquely labeled,” Amy Bell, spokeswoman for the California Department of Education Food Distribution Program, told The Daily in an email. “Accordingly, there is no way to tell from simply looking at a package of finished product if BPI Boneless Lean Beef is in the product mix.”
Last year, the USDA said that 6.5 percent of the beef it purchased for the national school lunch program came from BPI.
In part, it’s the lack of clear labeling that rankles both Zirnstein and Custer.
“It’s more like Jell-O than hamburger, plus it’s treated with ammonia, an additive that is not declared anywhere,” Custer said.
“They’ve taken a processed product, without labeling it, and added it to raw ground beef,” Zirnstein said. “Science is the truth, and pink slime at this point in time is a fraudulent lie.”
Neither BPI, nor Smith, who now serves on the board of directors at Tyson Foods, responded to The Daily’s request for comment on this story.
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"...The organic label is meant to signify that a food is relatively environmentally friendly: Organic producers are forbidden from using many synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. When that organic food comes from China (and other countries), however, that label may not mean much..."
ABC 7 News Report - WJLA.com Whole Foods Organic Food From China Story - May 2008
Whole Food's Dirty Little Secret (other grocery stores also should be included on list): What do you know about Organic Foods from China sold in your local food stores?
This video is (from an unknown date), produced by I-Team ABC News (www.wjla.com news), about Whole Foods deception on their brands. USDA does not inspect imported foods-certifies private inspectors to do the job. Whole Foods employs QAI Quality Assurance International and uses their Certification Sea on their products. This seal is not valid as validating inspected organic farms in China. AQI has not certified any products from China.
It is difficult to track food from China-like strawberries, nuts, peas, frozen vegetables, peanut butter, carrots, etc., hundreds of food products and vegetables. Most Organic Whole Foods are imported from China. What is the name of the third party inspectors doing inspections for Whole Foods which includes USDA accredited agency that inspects organic foods produced from China and other countries?
How does Whole Foods know these products are organic? Products stated certified organic like California Blend of Vegetables while it printed with small letters in the back "Product of China" in very small type.
Growing concern about quality of food and safety from China like pesticides. Organic foods from China are proliferating in the United States and are not inspected like organic food production in the United States. (I-Team Went to: Fresh Farm Markets of Dupont Circle they also sold organic Whole Food labeled foods from China to customers.)
U.S. Government Agencies are not protecting the public. LINK TO ORIGINAL STORY: http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0508/521743.html This page has been removed since the story is older (and possibly not online at this time) along with any documents that were once available on their website. Requests for information can be sent to ABC 7 www.WJLA.com
April 18, 2012 - ABC News & Video
USDA to Let Industry Self-Inspect Chicken
“…Chicken is the top-selling meat in the United States. The average American eats 84 pounds a year - more chicken than beef or pork. Sorry red meat, chicken is what’s for dinner.average American eats 84 pounds a year - more chicken than beef or pork. Sorry red meat, chicken is what’s for dinner. Now, the USDA is proposing a fundamental change in the way that poultry makes it to the American dinner table.
As early as next week, the government will end debate on a cost-cutting, modernization proposal it hopes to fully implement by the end of the year – a plan that is setting off alarm bells among food science watchdogs because it turns over most of the chicken inspection duties to the companies that produce the birds for sale.
The USDA hopes to save $85 million over three years by laying off 1,000 government inspectors and turning over their duties to company monitors who will staff the poultry processing lines in plants across the country.
The poultry companies expect to save more than $250 million a year because they, in turn, will be allowed to speed up the processing lines to a dizzying 175 birds per minute with one USDA inspector at the end of the line. Currently, traditional poultry lines move at a maximum of 90 birds per minute, with up to three USDA inspectors on line.
Whistleblower inspectors opposed to the new USDA rule say the companies cannot be trusted to watch over themselves. They contend that companies routinely pressure their employees not to stop the line or slow it down, making thorough inspection for contaminants, tumors and evidence of disease nearly impossible. “At that speed, it’s all a blur,” one current inspector tells ABC News.
“I think that there needs to be a critical evaluation of this program,” said Amanda Hitt, director of the Food Integrity Campaign, an organization that empowers industry whistleblowers and citizen activists. “People need to have an opportunity to question some of these results and different things that the agency is coming up with in regard to the safety of this program.
“We’re listening to the people that are actually doing [the inspections] and they’re saying unequivocally the traditional inspection produces higher quality and safer poultry,” Hitt said.
According to OMB Watch, a government accountability organization, cutbacks at the USDA have coincided with a significant rise in salmonella outbreaks. The group says 2010 was a record year for salmonella infection and 2011 saw 103 poultry, egg and meat recalls because of disease-causing bacteria, the most in nearly 10 years.
The USDA, which has been running a pilot program of the changes in 20 U.S. poultry plants, says the new system is not about cost-cutting, but about bringing food safety up to date.
“You can’t see pathogens. You can’t see campylobacter,” Alfred Almanza, administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service, told ABC News.
The USDA admitted the new system does not employ more lab tests that can see salmonella and other bacteria.
Critics said some companies are not to be trusted when it comes to testing because they cheat the system by rigging the test.
“We do not have evidence of that,” Almanza said. “But when we’re told of anything of that nature we take those allegations seriously.”
Watchdog groups insist a combination of increased testing and government inspection is needed to lower salmonella and other disease outbreaks from chicken.
“The proposed inspection system will better protect the public from foodborne illnesses by reducing reliance on old-fashioned visual and sensory inspection and moving to prevention-oriented inspection systems based on actual risk to consumers,” Ashley Peterson, vice president of science and technology at the National Chicken Council, said in a statement. “It is the goal and primary focus of the chicken industry and USDA alike to provide consumers with safe, high-quality and wholesome chicken. This proposed rule does not change that goal.” End
See Video at Link Above & Entire Article – ABC News
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background On January 27, 2012, FSIS published a proposed rule, ``Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection'' (77 FR 4408). In that document, the Agency proposed a new inspection system for young chicken and turkey slaughter establishments that would replace all of the existing inspection systems except for traditional inspection. Key elements of the proposed new inspection system include: (1) Requiring that establishment personnel sort carcasses and remove unacceptable carcasses and parts before the birds are presented to the FSIS carcass inspector; (2) reducing the number of on-line carcass inspectors to one; (3) permitting faster line speeds than are permitted under the existing inspection systems; and (4) replacing the existing Finished Product Standards (FPS) with a requirement that establishments that operate under the new inspection system maintain records to document that the products resulting from their slaughter operations meet the definition of ready-to-cook poultry. In addition to the proposed new inspection system, FSIS also proposed changes that would require, among other things, that all establishments that slaughter poultry other than ratites develop, implement, and maintain written procedures to prevent contamination of carcasses and parts by enteric pathogens and fecal material, and that they incorporate these procedures into their HACCP plan or sanitation standard operating procedures (SOP) or other prerequisite programs.