Posts Tagged ‘antibiotics’

The Good News

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Canadian Organic Growers is a wonderful resource for both serious growers and home gardeners as well as anyone interested in what is happening in the global world of agriculture.  The organization publishes a quarterly magazine, has local chapters all across Canada, hosts conferences and events such as Seedy Saturdays, has a lending library that is free to members, and also publishes a monthly e-newsletter.  I like the e-newsletter because if often gives one a quick but informative overview of what is happening with food and farming around the world.  For this blog, I thought I would summarize the good news.

  • The Canadian Wheat Board announces $200,000 in funding for organic sector development
  • Canada has said that any products derived from cloned foods can not be called organic under our new standards and logo (to me the overall news is awful)
  • A U.S. survey in 2008 reports that organic food sales are up 10%
  • Dannon is eliminating the rBST growth hormone from its dairy operations.  General Mills has done the same thing.
  • The Philippine army is launching an organic agricultural project to help less privileged residents in their area.
  • A 2008 report from the United Nations says that “organic agriculture is particularly well suited for smallholder farmers, who comprise the majority of Africa’s poor”.  Good news
  • A United Nations 2008 assessment of world hunger has concluded that ‘Genetically modified crops have very little potential to alleviate poverty and hunger’.  This is in direct contrast to claims coming from GM companies, but supports the continued development of organic food production.
  • Britons continue to support organic and ethical foods despite the downturn in the economy
  • 250 pesticides will be removed form store shelves in Ontario by the end of this month under the new Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act.  Quebec is the only other province to have a similar ban, with P.E.I. and New Brunswick considering one.
  • The amount of land globally in certified organic production grew from 30.7 million hectares to 32.2 million hectares in 2007, with strong growth in Latin America and Africa.

Not to put a damper on life, but this seems important.

According to the Environmental Health News (01/06/09) antibiotics are showing up in vegetables such as potatoes, corn, and lettuce.  These vegetables are absorbing the antibiotics when grown in soil fertilised with livestock manure in which the animals have been fed antibiotics.  Approximately 70% of all antibiotics and related drugs produced in the United States are fed to cattle, pigs, and poultry.  You are not protected by eating commercially grown organic vegetables, because these too are fertilized with commercial manures. North American organic standards recommend the use of organic manure, but it is not mandatory.  This is because there is not enough organic manure to meet the needs of organic production.  For those of you with your own gardens, I would recommend sticking with manures from animals that are primarily grass fed – I use horse manure that I collect from local stables and commercially bagged sheep manure, both of which are widely available.