Monthly Archives: February 2013

BIOTA Coordinator elected to panel of international specialists

biotaBy Karina Toledo

Agência FAPESP – Professor Carlos Joly of the Universidade Estadual de Campinas Biology Institute (IB/Unicamp) and coordinator of the BIOTA-FAPESP program was elected on January 23 to be one of five representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean at the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). 

Created in April of 2012 after nearly 10years of international negotiations, the IPBES will systematize the scientific knowledge accumulated on biodiversity for the purpose of granting subsidies and making scientific decisions internationally—a similar role to that held by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over the last 20 years.  

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Food security debate needs to include stronger focus on food safety

fruitsBy Andrew Emmott

The Guardian – We’ve all heard about the need for safe water in developing countries — campaigns and charities working in water sanitation have very successfully conveyed this message. What you may not have heard much about is the pressing issue of food safety in the developing world, a message that the London based ethical trading organization Twin is pushing in the run up to the G8 Summit, due to take place in the UK this June.

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Scandals Envelop Two Russian Science Officials

ScienceBy Vladimir Pokrovsky

Science – The recent departure of two senior Russian research officials is putting a spotlight on ethical issues. Earlier this month, Andrei Andriyanov resigned as head of the Kolmogorov Special Educational and Scientific Center (SESC) of Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU), a special high school for budding scientists, after an investigation concluded that he had included fake references in his doctoral thesis. Meanwhile, Russian law enforcement officials have leveled unrelated fraud charges against the head of the government commission that approved Andriyanov’s degree, calling renewed attention to allegations that the body was involved in a larger scheme to approve falsified dissertations.

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Horsemeat scandal: François Hollande calls for European meat labelling

The Guardian – The French president François Hollande has called for compulsory labelling and traceability of meat used in processed foods in Europe to prevent a repeat of the horsemeat scandal.

Speaking at the start of the Paris agricultural fair on Saturday, he said: “There needs to be traceability – that is what I want from talks on a European level. We need compulsory labelling on meats that will be used in processed foods.”

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India’s rice revolution: Chinese scientist questions massive harvests

SRI Rice FarmerThe Guardian – China’s leading rice scientist has questioned India’s claims of a world record harvest, following a report in last week’s Observer of astonishing yields achieved by farmers growing the crop in the state of Bihar.

Professor Yuan Longping, known as the “father of rice”, said he doubted whether the Indian government had properly verified young Indian farmer Sumant Kumar’s claim that he had produced 22.4 tonnes of rice from one hectare of land in Bihar in 2011. Continue reading

Study Examines Campylobacter Colonisation of Commercial Turkeys

PeruITALY – All three of the turkey flocks studied in northern Italy were colonized at different times with different genotypes of Campylobacter that persisted throughout the entire production cycle.

The findings of a new study suggest that Italian commercial turkeys might be widely colonised by different genotypes of Campylobacter jejuni and C.coli and that differences in the distribution and epidemiologic dynamics of these microorganisms might occur among flocks.

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Reducing Food Price Volatility

 Malawi maize crop

By Sara Gustafson

IFRIR While food price volatility has decreased since 2010, price spikes and unpredictable markets remain a significant threat to global food security. The uncertainty that stems from price volatility can cut into farmers’ profits and discourage long-term planning and investment, decreasing agricultural productivity. In turn, smaller harvests and lower food stocks can lead to further price increases and decreased availability of food, particularly for already vulnerable populations. But what is behind price volatility, and what can be done to control it?

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Source and Photo – International Food policy Research Institute, February 8, 2013
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