Daily Archives: February 8, 2010

Anderson Cooper: Mother Earth actually has the capacity to feed her people

By April Reeves

Anderson Cooper reports on a series by David Gewirtz, author of “How To Save Jobs“. David suggests the following:

From AC360: Next up was a look at grain consumption. Grain has always been an indicator of even the most basic of civilization, so a look at how the middle-classing of developing countries would affect the food supply based on grain usage seemed appropriate.

This time, I used data from the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture Production. Worldwide, humans consume about 1.9 billion metric tons of grain each year.

Today, the United States consumes about 287 million metric tons of grain, or about 14.8 percent of the world’s total supply.

China consumes slightly more than we do, at about 406 million metric tons of grain, or about 21 percent of the world’s supply.

India has a lot of starving people, and that shows in its grain use. India consumes only about 196 million metric tons of grain, about 10 percent of the world’s total. You can see India’s ups and downs written in the numbers. Some years, like 1993, their grain consumption went up 5.6 percent. But other years, like 2001, their grain consumption dropped by 4.3 percent. Neither of these are big fluctuations, but it does show some years Indian citizens ate a little more and other years, they ate a little less.

What if they consume grain at the same rate as we do here?

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Bayer pays $1.5 million damages to farmers

Missouri court asks Bayer to pay $1.5 million damages to farmers

February 08 2010

A federal court jury of St Louis has asked German multinational Bayer CropScience AG to pay about $1.5 million to the farmers in Arkansas and Mississippi for losses sustained when the company conducted an experimental variety of rice in the region.

The company’s experiments infiltrated the farmers’ crops, jury said on Friday.

The verdict was the second against Bayer CropScience. In December2009, a jury had awarded about $ 1.95 million in compensatory damages to Ken Bell of Bell City, and $53,336 to a rice farmer John Hunter of Essex.

The lawsuit is similar to hundreds of cases filed by farmers in Arkansas and few other states claiming that since 2006 their crops were contaminated by a genetically modified strain of rice produced by Bayer Cropscience.

In August 2006, the US Department of Agriculture had admitted that trace amounts of the genetically modified Liberty Link rice were found in US long-grain rice stocks, according to Don Downing, lead attorney for the farmers.

Bayer and Louisiana State University had been testing genetically modified rice, bred to resist a Bayer brand of herbicide, at a school-run facility in Crowley, Louisiana.

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April Reeves: This sets a precedent for future suits, with the exception of the fact that the rice was still in testing stages and without patents. Farmers should have received more compensation: the GE strain will transfer to existing plants.