Trade talks could give back door entry for GMO crops
Monsanto: not enough demand in Europe, but back door via free trace agreement still possible
The news that Monsanto will not be applying for the approval of new GM seeds in Europe because of low demand and public opposition sounds encouraging. (see article: http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14875). However, Monsanto still has 11 current applications for GMOs including the maize MON810, which is due for re-registration, plus 46 applications for GMOs for import as food and animal feed. For any future applications, there is an easier route to get GMOs into Europe: Monsanto will be participating in free trade negotiations with the European Commission on 18 June. The talks will address the lifting of trade barriers and the mutual recognition of standards. So the US will insist on by-passing EU labelling laws for GM products. They will also insist on automatic approval of GM crops. This will ensure GM companies rapid market access in Europe. We need to keep up the pressure on our MEPs to tell the Commission to keep GMOs firmly off the table in these talks.
Commons say no to a clean energy future: the web of power in politics, finance and the fossil fuels industry
Today the Commons voted against a clean energy future for the UK. The vested interests of the fossil fuel industry and the financial sector are embedded in government and are a clear driver or climate change. The World Development Movement* has collated a huge amount of information (in the public domain, but never seen all in one place before) on the connections between people in power in the government and vested interests in fossil fuels and finance. The data are extensive and damning. Large numbers of coalition officials have past or present connections to these sectors, and many high-ranking people in finance and the fossil fuels industry sit on government advisory boards. Big corporations have direct lines in some cases to ministers.
There is plenty of evidence to show that this web of power is driving climate change. Today's (4 June) vote on the Energy Bill highlights the problem.
Please take time to read the attached PDF briefing from WDM, which is also being circulated to environmental pressure groups and faith organisations. And please send a link to this page to anyone you can think of who can add support for change, including posting on social networks.
See also the important message from Greenpeace below.
*World Development Movement: http://www.wdm.org.uk
Polyface Farming resources
Milkwood Permaculture have a page on their blog to make a fantastic selection of notes and resources available on Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm regenerative agriculture practices. Includes videos and loads of practical information.
Fix, don't bin!
Electrical items may be repairable - Presteigne service
Whilst working on the Presteigne and Norton Zero Waste project I have seen a shocking quantity of small electrical goods and larger appliances being disposed of, all coming from Presteigne and Norton. In many cases these only needed a minor repair. We all know that repair is better than recycling but how difficult it is these days to find someone who is prepared to repair those items.
NOT ANY MORE!
Herdshare - like owning one leg of a racehorse?
An idea catching on in Australia is owning some chickens or the whole or part of some other livestock, and paying someone elelse, eg a farmer, to look after them and manage their outputs for you. On-site slaughter of poultry is then feasible as is the supply of raw milk, because these are your animals and no sale is involved. You could also be involved with any of the necessary functions to care for, or manage outpits of, your livestock, if you wish.
This is a different idea from Community Supported Agriclture schemes, which can be cumbersome to set up and administer, and may be a way for people to support farmers and provide themselves with local food security.