Friday, July 31, 2009

Organics Yield no Nutritive Gain - Study

Please read comment & links after this story.
Manitoba C0-Operator 7/31/2009-An independent British review of organic foods compared to conventionally-grown foods has found "no important differences" in the nutritive content, or in any additional health benefits for organics.

COMMENT; Johanne said...

Not everyone agrees that the FSA is so neutral in its study about organic food. The french coverage on Canada's national radio, Radio-Canada, left no doubt about the validity of this study. A little more reading from people who know better is very revealing:

Goods, services and ideas appearing on these pages are not necessarily endorsed by Paths Less Travelled.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

No Safety Assessment of GE Corn by Health Canada

[cban e-News] - Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Today CBAN revealed (see below press release) that Health Canada has not conducted a food safety assessment for Monsanto's...
Click headline to read.

Editor's note - once again our "guardians" of public health & safety demonstrate their criminal negligence. How do they sleep at night? l.p.

The Flathead Valley - Worthy of World Recognition

FRIDAY, JULY 24, 2009
For over three years, Ecojustice has been assisting a coalition of 11 groups seeking to protect....

Read full story by clicking headline.

No More Free Pass for the Mining Industry


Canadians finally have the right to know whether mines are threatening their water with arsenic, mercury & other dangerous pollutants!
All mines - including mines & Alberta's tarsands - must now tell Canadians about the pollution they cause, thanks to a lawsuit by Ecojustice on behalf of MiningWatch & Great Lakes United. The free "reveal-nothing" pass these industries enjoyed is finally over, & citizens will now have a powerful tool to hold mining companies accountable.
"This is an incredible win that empowers people in every corner of the country," says lawyer Marlene Cachin. "Knowing where pollution occurs is absolutely key in planning for possible mining & tailings pond disasters. Without it, decision-makers, along with those who will suffer the consequences of these incidents, are left in the dark."
When information is published later this year, the public can learn exactly which chemicals are being left behind simply by exploring the online National Pollutant Release inventory. With tarsands releasing knkown human carcinogens, and gold mines releasing cyanide, this information deserves public scrutiny.
"Metal mines ae an enormous source of pollution. The amount of mining waste churned out in Canada in just one year is enough to bury the entire Greater Toronto area in 4 ft. of waste," says lawyer Justin Duncan.

Monday, July 27, 2009

CFIA won't quarantine hogs for H1N1

Staff - Manitoba Co-Operator - 7/27/2009

Any Canadian hog herds that come down with the pandemic strain of H1N1 won't face the same quarantines as one of the few herds in the world known to have caught the virus.
Click headline for full story.

Kichiro Sato

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Warming Climate Threatens California Fruit And Nut Production

Science News
ScienceDaily (July 22, 2009) — Winter chill, a vital climatic trigger for many tree crops, is likely to decrease by more than 50 percent during this century as global climate warms, making California no longer suitable for growing...
Click headline here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

US Car Manufacturers Plough a Lonely Furrow on Biofuels

by George Monbiot, the Guardian, UK
The US Environmental Protection Agency wants to boost the ethanol blend in fuels in a misguided bid to cut emissions.
Click headline for more.
Also read "Bursting the Ethanol Bubble" here.

A field of wheat, a main feedstock
for ethanol in Canada.Photo by L.P.

Gonzo Gastronomy: How the Food Industry Has Made Bacon a Weapon of Mass Destruction

By Arun Gupta, AlterNet. Posted July 23, 2009.

The confluence of factory farming, the boom in fast food and manipulation of consumer taste created processed foods that can hook us like drugs.
Click headline for more.

Suburban Sprawl at Heart of Water Debate

WEDNESDAY, JULY 22, 2009 - by James Beddome, Leader, Green Party of Manitoba.

Winnipeg, and the surrounding communities, are presently beholden to the same old game of staged ideological political chicken between the city and the province, and unfortunately our water supply (imagine a barrel of water) is set to collide in between.
James speaks at a pro-water rally
on the steps of city hall on the eve
of the disastrous council vote.
More pics, below.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Organic Agriculture More Than Doubled Since 2000

by Alice McKeown/ July 23, 2009 - Worldwatch Institute
Click headline for full story.

Chemical-Makers go on the Offensive in Agriculture

Jul 22, '09 - By ERNEST SCHEYDER - AP Energy Writer.
Click headline for more


Eds. Note - World hunger grows as the Dows of the world scurry off into the night with ever bigger bags full of money, l.p.

Winnipeg Council Goes Ahead With Controversial New Utility

By: Bartley Kives - Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Decision doesn't come easy during gruelling session.

Read related article here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Small Fry - Big Problem. Global Warming Brings Smaller Fish

CHICAGO, July 20, 2009 (AFP) - Fish have lost half their average body mass and smaller species are making up a larger proportion of European fish stocks as a result of global warming, a study published Monday has found.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Battle in the Boreal. Rekindling the Air Quality Debate

An update - by Larry Powell


Public meetings in Swan River, Manitoba later this month, will revisit the explosive issue of pollution controls at a big wood products plant in the Swan Valley. Just as they were in the mid-'90s, battle lines are drawn between citizens, environmentalists, the US-based Louisiana Pacific Corporation (LP) and the Government of Manitoba. That's because LP wants to permanently shut down the devices which control most toxic emissions from its plant, called "regenerative thermal oxidizers" or RTOs.

LP emissions, as seen from the nearby countryside. 
(Photos by PinP)

Manitoba's Minister of Conservation, Stan Struthers, quietly gave it permission to do so, temporarily, last January.

Struthers has since instructed the Clean Environment Commission (CEC), an arms-length advisory agency, to determine whether a permanent shutdown is justified. Whether temporary or permanent, members of the environmental group, "Concerned Citizens of the Valley" are angry. One of them, Margaret Romak, notes that it was only after her group raised alarm bells about the Minister's approval of a temporary closure, that the government moved to get public input through the meetings the CEC will conduct. Some of the group's members were around to argue the original case for the RTOs and now find themselves having to fight the same fight all over again, 15 years later! 

One of them is Ken Sigurdson. In an email to the government this spring, Sigurdon issued this appeal."We already know the reasons for the RTOs. There's no need to reinvent the wheel. Don't allow LP to treat the Swan Valley as a 3rd-world country." 

The company got its license to harvest trees over a wide area of the boreal forests of west-central Manitoba in 1995. It uses fiber from the trees to make oriented strand board or OSB, a type of construction paneling used in the housing industry. Its original application to set up operations in Manitoba was granted. But it came only after a heated confrontation that saw community members and environmentalists insist, and the CEC recommend, that LP install the RTOs. 

A Change of Heart? 

This renewed debate may well put at least two prominent members of the present NDP government, on the defensive. In 1994, when she was an NDP opposition critic in the legislature, Rosann Wowchuk publicly supported the case for RTOs. 

Transcripts from the CEC hearings at the time, quote her as saying,"We want clean air, both inside & outside the plant - the best possible emission controls & strict emission guidelines. This is an opportunity, I believe, for Manitoba to be a leader in the country by setting responsible emission standards. Give consideration to recommending RTOs, which the company is required to have in the 'States. RTOs are better equipment & will control more emissions." 

Wowchuk is now Minister of Agriculture and Deputy Premier in Manitoba's NDP government. The mill at the centre of the debate is in her riding. As well, the present Minister of Conservation, Stan Struthers, while not an elected member in 1994, was actually active in "Concerned Citizens of the Valley" and even came up with its name! Faced with this kind of united front, a reluctant company and the Conservative Government of the day, capitulated and the equipment was installed. Ironically, both Ms. Wowchuk and Mr. Struthers now find themselves influential members of a government that is seriously pondering a reversal of an old decision in which they, themselves, played a significant role! 

Dan Soprovich of Concerned Citizens, a wildlife biologist and long-time critic of LP’s operations, has warned for some time the government has been buckling to company lobbying efforts on other issues as well. He has frequently pointed out before that LP used hopelessly optimistic estimates of how much logging the forest could sustain in order to get its first license. Now, he adds, the present government is allocating the forest to the company based on faulty management assumptions. One is that there will be no losses due to fires or disease! 

Ghost Pines 11 
Duck Mountain Park 

He also wonders why the government appears to be about to reverse itself on a ruling it made in the fall of ’07. At that time, the Conservation Director, Tracy Braun rejected LP’s request to be allowed to increase its emissions of benzene. She ruled,
"Based on the fact that benzene is a known carcinogin, it is the requirement of Manitoba Conservation that benzene emissions must be reduced or eliminated wherever possible."

Soprovich wonders what has changed since then, to the point where the government is pondering a turn-around on the issue. RTOs Commonly Used. RTOs are a complex type of incinerator, commonly used in the OSB industry in North America to control emissions. They or other equipment which do the same job, are actually required at OSB plants in the 'States, but not in Canada. According to Senes Consultants Ltd of Toronto, hired by the CEC to review the OSB industry in North America, RTOs are effective in controlling the range of nasty pollutants coming from the mill. These include;
  • volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which include a wide range of toxic substances;
  • hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), including cancer-causing agents;
  • phenols, toxic chemical compounds which are fatal in extremely small amounts;
  • methyl diphenyl diiscocyananate, (MDI), a toxic resin used in OSB construction;
  • other carcinogens like benzene and formaldehyde.
  • Particulate matter - tiny particles which can be inhaled, causing respiratory and cardiac problems.
LP using scare tactics? 

Like so many large corporations, LP doesn't hesitate to cite financial hard times as a reason to get what it wants. In its application to the government, the company says harsh economic realities are forcing it to cut costs. It notes its sales are slumping thanks to the sub-prime mortgage meltdown in the US, where it sells much of its product. It claims the RTOs cost $3 million dollars a year to operate and some sources say they will soon have to be replaced, at a cost of another $10 million. It calls the RTOs “a burden that will threaten the competitiveness of our operations.” It even warns it may have to shut the plant down, throwing hundreds of staff, contractors and log handlers out of work for an indefinite period if the government rules against it! It adds, "RTO elimination will not result in a significant impact to the surrounding environment and community health. It provides a win for the community by enhancing the long term viability of the plant and therefore the continued prosperity of the communities in and around the valley." 

But many critics are not buying this "poverty plea." In a letter to the local paper, Concerned Citizens writes, this (economic argument) “contradicts reports about LP on the internet.” It says the corporation plans to expand business in the UK, Australian and Japan “as part of a concerted campaign to grow market share and capitalize on the retreat from the market by one of its competitors, Weyerhaeuser." In another email to the government, Stephanie Fulford of Nature Manitoba states, "It is a dangerous precedent for the environment of Manitoba, to base any decision on a temporary economic situation." 

Another comes from Leah Moffatt, who describes herself as "A concerned citizen of Canada and Manitoba." She writes, "Economic hard times are affecting every one of us in today's society. But this doesn't mean we should allow any company or person to forgo their social and environmental responsibility." 

And Susanne McRea of the Boreal Action Network says, while the economic downturn may be real, "to compromise human health in favour of the profits of a multinational corporation is not acceptable."

LP claims emissions are already being limited thanks to cutbacks in production and operational improvements. Yet at the same time, it acknowledges there will be "an increase of certain emissions" inherent in its application. The company claims the plant will emit almost 12 thousand tonnes less greenhouse gas per year without the RTOs. They burn natural gas, which would no longer be needed. The consultants study also takes note of this fact, but concludes, the main source of greenhouse gases in the industry is the waste wood it burns to produce heat needed to make the actual product. And that will still be required.

Is government obstructing democracy? 

Concerned Citizens have taken strong exception with the fact Struthers has chosen to hold an “investigation” or “public meetings,” rather than a full-fledged hearing on the issue. They argue that true hearings would allow members of the public, including ordinary citizens whose health might be impacted by the final decision, to cross-examine anyone who makes a submission, including the government, the company or even themselves. But this will not be the case. They charge that Struthers is deliberately "stifling the voice of the people" by the process he has chosen. Are pollutants being accurately measured? An official in the Conservation Department, Ryan Coulter, said some time ago, since the start of the temporary shutdown, there had been no significant increase in air pollution levels. But an internal government email in March, casts doubt on the accuracy of the system the company has used all these years to measure those levels. 

Dave Bezak of the Conservation Department writes, “LP's monitoring of outdoor ambient air quality is too infrequent to capture an air sample that might be impacted by facility emissions." Translation? Testing is not done often enough to get true readings! 

Soprovich believes basic science should also dictate that such testing be done in numerous places. Yet there are only two monitoring stations; one to the west of the mill and the other to the north. Since prevailing winds are from the north and the west, he concludes, the entire monitoring system has been exposed as a "useless public relations exercise."
This illustration shows prevailing
winds at the nearby Swan River airport.
Its almost as if the company placed the stations in places you’d pick if you didn’t want the emissions detected, he remarks!

The public meetings before the CEC will be held on July 28th, 29th and, if needed, the 30th in Swan River. There are rumours there may be a meeting in Winnipeg, as well. But this cannot be confirmed.

Meanwhile, those now-famous RTOs remain shut down and silent.
COMMENT: Hi Larry; "As in mostly all scenarios the Corporates are allowed to waltz to their own music! I am of the opinion that these two ministers should be replaced; an Online Petition is in order for the blunders they pulled. Sounds radical, but that is the only choice. The Public has to be made aware of what Governments are doing to the Environment and the People. Where there is silence, there is consent !" Regards, Joe Leschyshyn 
"What a great article!" - Brian and Maria

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Global Warming Causes Severe Storms

Research Meteorologists See More Severe Storms Ahead: The Culprit -- Global Warming

ScienceDaily - January 1, 2009 — Research Meteorologists found that the temperature changes brought on by global warming are significant enough to cause an increase in the occurrence of severe storms.
Click headline for details.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Biodiesel Plant Planned for Lloydminster

July 15, 2009 - By Jay Whetter -

Canadian Bioenergy is working with Archer Daniels Midland to integrate a biodiesel production plant in with ADM’s canola crush plant at Lloydminster, Alta. Click headline for more.


Editors' note - And the beat goes on. It matters not that, at least this "current generation" of fuels made from food, fails society in so many ways:
Not to mention its tendency to make the world food crisis even worse. As long as giant corporations like ADM can continue to profit mightily from government grants and government "mandates" which require us to buy their products whether we like it or not, that seems to be all that matters.

Read related article here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Strategic Blueprint Foresees Slimmed-Down Hog Industry

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION - By: Laura Rance - 11/07/2009

Pork council angles for government help to ease transition... Click headline for more.

Kichiro Sato

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Parent Company of "Silk Soy Milk" Throws American Farmers Under the Bus

By Ari LeVaux, AlterNet. Posted July 9, 2009.

Since Dean Foods acquired Silk it has ditched support of domestic organic farms.
Click here for full story.
Editor's Note - I have been chided in past for suggesting that certifying bodies ought to deal harshly with large corporations when they step out of line. Please read this story and let me know if I am wrong.
Let's boycott Silk! L.P.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Glyphosate Herbicide Could Cause Birth Defects

Argentina Considers Ban

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho - Institute of Science in Society.

Glyphosate herbicide causes malformations in amphibian embryos, scientists in Argentina reveal in their as yet unpublished study.

Click headline for full story.

Read related story here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What if our Politicians Ruled as if Ecology Matters?

What If...

18 June, 2009 | William E. Rees - Alternatives Journal

LET'S FACE IT – the really inconvenient truth is that the age of unconstrained exuberance is over.
Click headline for more.

Science Matters - Are your vegetables green enough?

Here's your weekly Science Matters column by David Suzuki with Faisal Moola. Are your vegetables green enough? Monsanto doesn't think so!
Click headline for more.
Click here for related story.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Worldwatch Institute Launches Initiative to Assess Agricultural Methods’ Impacts on Sustainability, Productivity

July 8, 2009

Washington, D.C.-The Worldwatch Institute is launching a two-year project to point the world toward innovations in agriculture that can nourish people as well as the planet, supported by a $1.3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Click headline for more.

Factory Farms & the Flu. Who Says They're Not Related!

By Larry Powell

Sadly, politicians are again placing the interests of a failing industry ahead of science, the public interest and possibly even human health.

Manitoba and Ottawa are doling out another 37 million dollars -good money after bad - to factory hog producers in this province.

Both the Manitoba government and the "Feds" have swallowed, hook, line and sinker the siren song of the industry; that it is being unjustly connected to the current outbreak of swine flu and is suffering financial hardship as a result.

In announcing this latest welfare payment, the Minister of Agriculture, Rosann Wowchuk, cites what she calls "the false connection to H1N1 flu" as one of the factors hurting the industry today.

This rush to judgement and readiness to be a cheerleader rather than an even-handed lawmaker, does a disservice to Manitobans.

In contrast, the Green Party of Manitoba has taken a position based on reality and science, as opposed to political expediency.

In light of the current outbreak of H1N1 influenza, or Swine 'Flu, the Party is therefore calling for an immediate halt to the development of any new confined animal feeding operations, or "CAFOs," in the province.

Large numbers of hogs and chickens are fed in these facilities, also referred to as "factory farms." Many such operations were approved under the watch of our present government, especially in the southeast and central areas.

While it has placed a freeze on any new developments in these regions, vast areas of the province are still eligible for new ones. It is part of a larger style of industrialized agriculture which has for years, drawn growing concern from around the world.
Not only does it hold implications for the environment, communities, human health and animal welfare, it is highly dependent on exports, which are simply unsustainable over the long term.

As the party leader, James Beddome has stated, "The preponderance of scientific evidence implicating such operations in the spread of serious infectious diseases, is just too convincing to allow them to multiply.
"Operations housing both hogs and chickens in close proximity, already up and running in parts of Manitoba, (notably the RM of Hanover) pose an especially dangerous combination. These must be phased out as soon as possible."

Several huge hog and chicken CAFOs also operate near the small Mexican town where the Swine 'Flu outbreak apparently began. Some local people there believe a virus from those barns infected the little boy who became the first known victim.

The Government of Manitoba either does not know or care about the growing body of medical research and scientific evidence on this issue.

For example,

• The World Health Organization, the Canadian and American Public Health Associations, and the Canadian and American Medical Associations have, for years, all raised alarms about the public health risks of CAFOs.

• In 2006, research teams from the universities of Iowa and Wisconsin, with help from the Centers for Disease Control, warned that hogs play an important role in the transmission of the flu virus back and forth from animals to humans.
Their study found that farmers, veterinarians and meat processors exposed to hogs in their jobs, ran a greatly increased risk of coming down with H1N1, the flu strain involved in the current outbreak.

• In 2007, another research team with the (U.S.) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (a branch of the Surgeon-General's office) concluded, "Because CAFOs tend to concentrate large numbers of animals close together, they facilitate rapid transmission and mixing of viruses. There is a concern that increasing the numbers of swine facilities adjacent to avian facilities could further promote the evolution of the next pandemic."

The current outbreak is still cropping up disturbingly in unexpected places in Manitoba and elsewhere. So steps such as these are essential as a precaution against a full-blown pandemic which some medical authorities say is not only possible, but probable in the future.

But more steps should also be taken. These could include improved bio-security measures at CAFOs and the monitoring of people involved in their operation.

The government cannot be unmindful of any economic hardships these policy changes might have on the industry. Any adverse effects it encounters as a direct result of these policy changes ought to be compensated, appropriately.

But, to what degree can this situation continue and for how long?

It is now clear that our dominant system of animal agriculture, the CAFO, or factory farm, has failed on so many levels and needs to change.

So the government should stop propping up these factory farms and instead, begin to provide far more assistance to small, sustainable, straw-based, organic, family livestock farms.


Larry Powell

Green Party of Manitoba

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Water, Waste Plan Still up in the Air

Winnipeg Free Press - By: Bartley Kives

City mulls three partnership options
In what amounts to a $1-billion leap of faith, city councillors are being asked to wind down Winnipeg's water and waste department before senior city officials figure out precisely what role private engineering firms will play in a proposed city-owned utility.

Click headline for more.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Water Warning Issued

Winnipeg Free Press - By: Bartley Kives - Jul 7 - '09
The water utility corporation proposed for the City of Winnipeg is trouble, says the head of Canada's largest union.
Click headline for full story.

Flushing Out the Truth - Sewage Dumping in Ontario

Submitted by Kori Brus — Jun 29, 2009

Tens of billions of litres of untreated sewage are entering Ontario's waterways because of outdated infrastructure and poor oversight by the provincial government. Get full report by clicking headline.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Costa Rica - The World's Greenest, Happiest Country

Ashley Seager Guardian Co UK, Saturday 4 July 2009
Latin American nation tops index ranking countries by ecological footprint and happiness of their citizens.
Click headline for full story.

More Polar Bear Populations Shrinking From Declining Sea Ice. New Report

Winnipeg Free Press - By: Bob Weber - C.P.
A major international report says the increasingly rapid loss of Arctic sea ice is already taking a toll on polar bears and Canada should reconsider its
decision not to include the mighty predators on its list of endangered species.
Click headline for more.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Study Eyes Wetlands' Role Against Nutrient Overload

Manitoba Co-Operator - Staff - 6/30/2009

Ducks Unlimited Canada has picked up almost $380,000 in federal funds to see how isolated wetlands can help keep watersheds free of excess nutrients and sediment.
Click headline for details.

Above & r. One of Manitoba's
algae-clogged rivers.

Photos by L.P.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Canada Seen Worst of G8 Not Curbing Climate Change

Wed Jul 1, 2009 11:55am EDT - By Daniel Flynn
ROME (Reuters): With only five months to go until a new global pact on climate change, none of the Group of Eight nations is doing enough to curb global warming. Shamefully, Canada and the US are at the bottom.
Click headline for more.

Friday, July 3, 2009

EPA Approves California Pollution Rule

Published on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 by The Associated Press by H. Josef Herbert
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency gave the go-ahead Tuesday for California to impose stringent regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, setting the stage for a national requirement expected to mirror the state's effort.
Click on headline for full story.

STILL More Reaction to "To Graze or not to Graze!"

"I've seen riparian areas managed well where cattle are allowed in for brief periods, usually during the late fall and winter months. They can graze the tall grasses and do a bit of breaking up of soil (but not too much) that can help seeds germinate for greater biodiversity. But the rest of the year they were excluded from the riparian area - it is too sensitive, and cattle can easily overwhelm the ecosystem due to their size and numbers and tendency to congregate where access to water is easiest.
"As a general policy, exclusion may well be the best course, as it can be quite difficult to assess all the factors that need to be considered to do a proper job of managing short-term seasonal grazing in riparian areas. In other words, err on the side of caution."

Cathy Holtslander - Beyond Factory Farming.
"BFF" is a national organization promoting socially responsible livestock production in Canada.

Cathy has been involved in environmental advocacy with a focus on agriculture and food since the mid '90s.

Most Provinces Fail on Provision of Environmental Rights

Ottawa - June 4, 2009
"Friends of the Earth Canada" releases First Annual Score Card on Environmental Rights. (Alberta fails, Manitoba gets a dubious "C.") Click headline for full report.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

U.N. to Study Potential Threats to Canada-U.S. World Heritage Site

By Cindy Chan - Epoch Times Staff Jul 1, 2009
Decades-long concerns over energy and mining development proposals near a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Canada-U.S. border have prompted the agency to launch a fact-finding mission to investigate potential threats to the region.
Click headline for more.

In 1932 Waterton Lakes National Park (Alberta, Canada)
was combined with the Glacier National Park (Montana, US)
to form the world's first International Peace Park.

U.S. Court Defeats Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Alfalfa, For Now

July 2nd - 2009
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network

Monsanto’s Plans in Canada Likely Delayed!

Click on headline for details.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Monsanto & Dole Team up on Vegetable Breeding

The Co-Operator - submitted by Dave Bedard - 6/23/2009

Broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach breeding will
soon include a new player as U.S. seed and agriculture
chemical firm Monsanto hooks up with Dole Fresh
Vegetables for a five-year collaboration deal.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Plant breeding will be used to improve the "nutrition, flavour, colour, texture, taste and aroma of these vegetables," the two companies said in a joint release Tuesday.
The program will focus on those four specific vegetables, the companies said, and "any new products realized from this collaboration could be commercialized by Dole in North America."
"The consumer wins because Dole's market knowledge combined with our research and development capabilities will help bring new healthy and flavourful products to consumers," said David Stark, vice-president of consumer traits at St. Louis-based Monsanto, in the release.
Monsanto said its "agricultural expertise that improves the speed and accuracy of new and beneficial characteristics" will be guided in this arrangement by Dole's" knowledge of consumer needs and marketing."
Dole, founded in Hawaii in 1851 and now headquartered near Los Angeles, posted 2008 net revenues of US$7.6 billion and bills itself as the world's biggest grower and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Dole's fresh vegetable production is generally done under "joint growing arrangements" with producers in California, Arizona and northern and central Mexico.


Editor's note - Having been an organic vegetable producer myself, my heart skips a beat when I read such articles.
As we know, as sure as night follows day, where goes Monsanto, there goes genetic modificiation.
So how long will it be now before members of the organic movement, just like conventional grain farmers before you, will have to enter into contracts with these companies to buy their seeds rather than save your own, as you probably do now?
How about terminator vegetable seeds? Might they be coming, too?
Might the future also see these corporations prosecuting producers (ala Percy Schmeiser) because their corporate
frankeseeds, through no fault of your own, have drifted into your gardens, contaminating your crops?
We already know what these mammoth entities are capable of, moving relentlessly to genetically modify just about everything.
Be afraid! Be very afraid!
These heartless "hollow men" must be stopped!
Click on headline for related story.

Massive B.C. coal mines are about to get a new owner. Why some are worried about Glencore’s record

THE NARWHAL Coal mine at Tumbler Ridge, B.C.  Jeffrey Wynne ,      If the sale goes through, the company will inherit a contamination proble...