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India: Sundarbans women lead the way in making dairy farms organic
12 December 2018 - An organic dairy co-operative has helped improve the financial and social lives of numerous women in Sundarban region. Women members of the dairy co-operative society want to increase reliance on organic farming, turning to traditional agricultural practices. (more)

Argentina: Rio Negro produces the most organic food in country
7 December 2018 - Rio Negro has consolidated itself as the province that generates the most organic products in Argentina, as it accounts for 20 percent of the country's total organic production. There are 240 establishments in the province that are devoted to producing organic products, mainly pears and apples. 28 new organic establishments were certified in Rio Negro in 2017. This means there was a 13 percent annual increase. (more)

Iceland harnesses hot springs to power year-round farming
29 November 2018 - Iceland's volcanic origins have blessed the island of 350,000 inhabitants with abundant geothermal energy -- a renewable resource that, unlike solar or wind power, is unaffected by its unpredictable weather. Geothermal energy, which makes up a quarter of Iceland's electricity, has helped boost the year-round availability of fresh food. (more)

4th African Organic Conference wraps up in Senegal
27 November 2018 - Over 150 participants from more than 30 countries in Africa have recently completed a four-day forum at the 4th African Organic Conference held in Saly, Senegal, organized by Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative in Africa. (more)

Scientist unveils blueprint to save bees and enrich farmers
23 November 2018 - The collapse in bee populations can be reversed if countries adopt a new farmer-friendly strategy, the architect of a new masterplan for pollinators will tell the UN biodiversity conference this week. Stefanie Christmann of the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas will present the results of a new study that shows substantial gains in income and biodiversity from devoting a quarter of cropland to flowering economic crops such as spices, oil seeds, medicinal, and forage plants. (more)

Organic farmers protecting Italy's rich food tradition
22 November 2018 - Italian landscape architect-turned-hobby farmer Cristiano del Toro is dedicated to reviving old ways of farming. Now it seems increasing numbers of Italian farmers and consumers are coming around to Civilta Contadina's way of thinking. With a total turnover of euro 31.5 billion in 2017, agriculture is still a major economic sector in Italy and organic farming is expanding rapidly. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of organic farmers grew by 53 percent. (more)

Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan clears debts of 1,398 farmers
21 November 2018 - Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan has cleared more than $560,000 worth of debt owed by farmers, amid a wider agricultural crisis that has forced many rural workers into extreme poverty. In a blog post on Tuesday (20 November), he wrote he had 'taken care' of 1,398 farmers in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where Bachchan was born, by paying off their debt. (more)

India: Amitabh Bachchan pays off farmers' loans worth $500,000
21 November 2018 - Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan says he has cleared farmers' loans worth more than 40m rupees ($560,000; British Pounds 436,000). He wrote on his blog on Tuesday that he had 'taken care' of 1,398 farmers by paying off their debt, adding that he felt a 'sense of accomplishment'. All of the farmers are from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where Bachchan was born. (more)

Canada: Organic acres on the rise
19 November 2018 - Organic is back. After a period of sluggish growth and a decline in the number of producers in the early 2010s, organic farming is expanding in Western Canada. 'The growth is in almost every commodity and shows a continuation of a trend that began back in 2014 and does not show signs of slowing,' said Becky Lipton, program director for POGI and executive director of Organic Alberta. (more)

France: Parisians want more local and organic produce
19 November 2018 - Street interviews, done at the Aligre market in Paris' 12th arrondissement, show that Parisians are certainly concerned about the food they eat. And then there are some numbers on organic products in France: The amount of products of organic origin consumed increased by 17 percent in 2017; 59 percent of French people regularly eat organic fruit and vegetables ... and The Occitanie region in southern France has 8,184 organic farms alone. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


Maharishi Vastu home, organic farm featured in Westchester County, New York
17 May 2018 - With the help of an architect versed in Maharishi Vastu, or ancient Vedic principles of architecture, the owner built a stunning 5,000-square-foot home northeast of New York City, reports LoHud (New York). Maharishi Vastu architecture ensures that a building will have only nourishing influences on its occupants. This results from the use of several key natural law-based, Vedic principles. Then she set out to create an organic farm and orchard on the nearly 5-acre property. Each year, Amba Farms yields nearly 10,000 pounds of produce; some goes to local restaurants for farm-to-table dining, but much is donated to local food pantries. There are also eggs from chickens and nearly 100 fruit trees. (more)

Maharishi University of Management faculty present in India, Rwanda, South Korea, and Bali
15 May 2018 - Maharishi University of Management (MUM) faculty have been making an impact worldwide in recent months, giving presentations in a number of countries around the world, including India, Rwanda, South Korea, and Bali. (more)

Teaching regenerative organic agriculture to Bhutan refugees: Maharishi University of Management faculty
2 January 2018 - During a recent workshop on regenerative organic agriculture, Maharishi University of Management (MUM) faculty Dr. A. Thimmaiah helped a group of Bhutanese refugees learn to grow their native food while also learning to heal themselves and the planet. The workshops with Dr Thimmaiah are sponsored by Lutheran Social Services in Fargo, North Dakota. Dr. Thimmaiah is associate professor of sustainable living at MUM and heads the BA in Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program. He is a former agriculture advisor to Bhutan and a top expert in organic and biodynamic agriculture who authored the national organic standards for Bhutan. (more)

Creating 'an army of future farmers' to redesign, restructure food and agriculture systems
9 September 2017 - Students in the Regenerative Organic Agriculture Certificate programme at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA started selling the fruits of their harvest at the Fairfield Farmers Market just a few months after they began working on the student farm. The 10-month programme's purpose is 'to create an army of future farmers who can redesign and restructure the current food and agriculture systems', said Dr. Appachanda Thimmaiah, programme director. 'Graduates will have confidence to farm or start their own business in regenerative organic agriculture.' (more)

Veteran plants the seeds of a dream in the new MUM Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program
15 August 2017 - US military veteran Kyle Amsberry was introduced to Transcendental Meditation (TM) and its beneficial effects on combat veterans while serving his country. He soon learned about Maharishi University of Management (MUM) and was drawn to the idea of studying Sustainable Living while also working toward becoming a TM Teacher. Enrolling in the new MUM Regenerative Organic Agriculture programme, Kyle worked for weeks on a business plan to open a TM Retreat and Education Center for Veterans that included a working organic farm in southern California. 'Right now it's just an idea and a dream', he said, 'but through the Regenerative Organic Agriculture programme, I know I can make it a reality. The networking opportunities and possibilities are endless in this programme and at this university.' (more)

Maharishi University of Management pioneers first complete farm-to-fork program in Regenerative Organic Agriculture
25 July 2017 - Maharishi University of Management in Iowa has launched the world's first complete programme to train the next generation of farmers in an agricultural paradigm that can fully reverse climate change and provide abundant and healthy food for our planet's growing population. Termed 'regenerative organic agriculture', this 10-month certificate work-study programme is a collaborative effort among five internationally renowned organizations in the field of organic and biodynamic agriculture - directed by Dr. A. Thimmaiah, an expert in climate-smart agriculture who has developed many low-cost farming solutions using natural resources that are benefiting thousands of farmers in different countries. He says few schools or organizations offer even one course in regenerative organic farming systems, which he distinguishes from common organic farming. Regenerative agriculture is a self-sufficient, closed-loop system in which farmers, on their own farms, produce all the inputs required, using only naturally available resources there. (more)

Maharishi University of Management launches Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program
28 December 2016 - Maharishi University of Management is launching its new certificate programme in Regenerative Organic Agriculture this month. Under the directorship of Dr Appachanda Thimmaiah, the 10-month programme is the first of its kind in the US and will give students the knowledge and hands-on experience to master a system of agriculture that embodies the best and most sustainable aspects of organic and biodynamic agriculture, as well as traditional agricultural knowledge systems from around the world. 'From home gardening, to transforming the urban landscape with neighborhood food forests, to professional organic farming and food entrepreneurship, to food activism and advocacy - this programme is a great first step in taking on each of these missions,' said Dr Thimmaiah. Students will also learn Transcendental Meditation, which is a powerful tool that they can use to get in direct touch with the deep laws of nature that govern agriculture, thereby improving their effectiveness in farming. (more)

Infosys founder offers scholarships for Regenerative Agriculture students at Maharishi University of Management
26 October 2016 - S.D. Shibulal, a cofounder of technology giant Infosys, and Mrs Kumari Shibulal, announced recently that their foundation will provide scholarships totaling US$100,000 for students from India who enrol in the new Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program beginning in January at Maharishi University of Management, USA. (more)

Maharishi University of Management: Certificate in regenerative organic agriculture to be offered
21 October 2016 - Those interested in being part of the next generation of organic farming will be able to enroll in a 10-month certificate programme in regenerative organic agriculture at Maharishi University of Management in the USA, beginning this January. This regenerative method of organic farming is a self-sufficient, closed-loop system in which all the inputs required for production are supplied and grown using only the naturally available resources within the farmstead. 'This course will be of interest to anyone who has a passion to create radical change in the current food and agriculture systems,' says programme head Dr A. Thimmaiah. 'The students can be food activists, farmers, food advocates, home and urban gardeners, or future organic farmers.' (more)

Maharishi University of Management's Dr Thimmaiah is helping Bhutan adopt organic agriculture
6 October 2016 - Bhutan is the first country in the world that is becoming 100 percent organic. The man behind this transition is Dr Appachanda Thimmaiah. Currently an associate professor of sustainable living at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, from 2008 to 2013 he served as the organic agriculture consultant to Bhutan. His biodynamic agriculture consultancy company in India was the first to develop large agricultural projects transitioning to organic agriculture. Helping farms in Bhutan maintain self-sufficient, 'closed-loop' systems where no outside products need be purchased has caught on with the government, along with 'no-cost' organic certification for farmers, and training programs for instructors in organic farming methods. Dr Thimmaiah upholds that for a country that puts great emphasis on its unique Gross National Happiness metric, which measures progress through the spiritual, physical, social, and environmental health of its citizens, switching to organic agriculture would have an enormous positive influence on its citizens. (more)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


Toxin in U.S. corn harvest poses latest headache for farmers
5 November 2018 - North American farmers are finding increased levels of a plant toxin known as vomitoxin in this year's corn harvest, adding insult to injury for growers already suffering as the U.S.-China trade war hurts soybean exports and crop prices. Vomitoxin sickens livestock and can also make humans and pets fall ill, and grain buyers can reject cargoes or fine farmers for shipments that contain it. (more)

France investigates reports of babies born without arms in rural areas
31 October 2018 - France has launched a nationwide investigation into why some two dozen babies have been born without hands or arms in a handful of rural areas since 2,000 after several new cases were reported this week, the health minister said on Wednesday (31 October). A separate investigation has also been opened into reports that calves and possibly chickens have been born without limbs in the same three heavily agricultural areas, an official told Reuters. (more)

Roundup for Breakfast, Part 2: In new tests, weed killer found in all kids' cereals sampled
24 October 2018 - Findings released as major scientific study shows eating organic lowers cancer risk. A second round of tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group found the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer in every sample of popular oat-based cereal and other oat-based food marketed to children. These test results fly in the face of claims by two companies, Quaker and General Mills, which have said there is no reason for concern. This is because, they say, their products meet the legal standards. (more)

US: Dozens more breakfast foods test positive for trace amounts of weed killer, report says
24 October 2018 - Dozens of common breakfast cereals and snack bars have trace amounts of a controversial herbicide found in the weed killer Roundup, according to a report released today (24 October) by an environmental advocacy group. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 26 of the 28 products it tested had levels of Roundup's main ingredient, glyphosate, that were 'higher than what EWG scientists consider protective of children's health.' An earlier report found similar results in over thirty oat-based foods. (more)

US: Texas A&M earns USDA approval for cottonseed genetic process
21 October 2018 - Scientists at Texas A&M University have earned federal approval of a genetic process to unleash cottonseed as possibly one of the world's leading sources of protein-rich food. (more)

Scottish government identifies case of mad cow disease
18 October 2018 - Scotland's government said on Thursday (8 October) that a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, had been discovered on a farm in Aberdeenshire, the first in Britain since 2015. BSE was first detected in Britain in the late 1980s, spreading from there to other parts of Europe and ravaging cattle herds until the early 2000s. It has been linked to the brain-wasting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. (more)

Dangerous pesticide found in 75 percent of global honey samples
10 October 2018 - Seventy-five percent of honey samples tested between 2012 and 2016 showed levels of a class of pesticide called neonicotinoid known to impair honeybees' cognitive function. The findings, published in the recent issue of the journal Science, point to North America as having the highest levels of neonicotinoid contamination at 86 percent. Asia samples came in at 80 percent, Europe at 79 percent, and South America the lowest at 57 percent. Neonics, as they're also called have been directly linked to bee decline and a condition called colony collapse disorder where bees become disoriented, abandon their hives, and often die. (more)

US: Swollen North Carolina rivers swamp dumps, raising water pollution fears
16 September 2018 - As rain from Hurricane Florence continued to lash the Carolinas, the region's swollen rivers were beginning to swamp coal ash dumps and low-lying hog farms Sunday (16 September), raising pollution concerns. Such farms typically have large pits filled with hog urine and feces that can cause significant water contamination if breached or overtopped by floodwaters. State environmental regulators said Sunday they had not yet received any reports of spills. Duke Energy said the collapse of a coal ash landfill at the L.V. Sutton Power Station near Wilmington, North Carolina, is an 'on-going situation,' with an unknown amount of potentially contaminated storm water flowing into a nearby lake. The gray ash left behind when coal is burned contains toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, and mercury. At a different power plant near Goldsboro, three old coal ash dumps capped with soil were inundated by the Neuse River. (more)

More Afghans displaced by drought than conflict, U.N. says
11 September 2018 - A total of 275,000 people have been displaced by drought in western Afghanistan -- 52,000 more than the number uprooted by conflict this year -- with over two million threatened by the effects of water shortages, the United Nations said. Afghanistan, a country where nearly 20 million people rely on farming, has suffered a 45 per cent fall in agricultural output this year as the drought has bitten, officials at the ministry of agriculture have said. (more)

Water shortages to cut Iraq's irrigated wheat area by half
11 September 2018 - Drought, water shortages have reduced Nineveh, Iraq's former breadbasket, to a dust bowl. Iraq, a major Middle East grain buyer, will cut the irrigated area it plants with wheat by half in the 2018-2019 growing season as water shortages grip the country, a government official told Reuters. An investigation by Reuters in July revealed how Nineveh, Iraq's former breadbasket, was becoming a dust bowl after drought and years of war. (more)


Global Good News provides the latest information on agriculture

Worldwide demand for natural, organic food is growing. Many scientists, farmers, and consumers are concerned about the health and environmental risks associated with agricultural chemicals and genetically modified foods. Educated consumers are seeking natural approaches to health, economically viable solutions to global hunger, and sustainable practices for the health of our planet.

Global Good News provides the latest information on the benefits of organic agriculture, organic gardening, and Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture—a programme of the Global Country of World Peace for harnessing the full potential of Nature's intelligence in the field of agriculture, to create healthy food for a happy life.

Genetically modified foods (GM foods, also called genetically engineered and genetically altered) are plants, animals, and bacteria in which the genetic material has been directly manipulated and distorted. Natural processes—such as selective breeding, grafting or splicing—do not directly manipulate the DNA. Many experts fear the irreversible loss of our food crops' diverse gene pool. Altered plants easily cross-pollinate with conventional crops, making it impossible to separate the natural from the unnatural.

Agricultural companies began aggressively marketing GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in the mid-1990s, claiming an increase in crop production. They cite evidence of pest resistance and crop spray tolerance, meaning the crop can be sprayed with amounts of pesticides that would normally kill the plants.

However, research has found that traditional crop cultivation delivers better results. Doug Gurian-Sherman, PhD, a biologist in the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Food and Environment Program, says, 'The biotech industry has spent billions on research and public relations hype, but genetically engineered food and feed crops have not enabled American farmers to grow significantly more crops per acre of land.'

In March 2009, Dr Gurian Sherman published a report entitled, Failure to Yield—Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops in which he states, 'This report is the first to evaluate in detail the overall, or aggregate, yield effect of GE after more than 20 years of research and 13 years of commercialization in the United States. Based on that record, we conclude that GE has done little to increase overall crop yields.' The report continues, 'Recent studies also suggest that organic and other sophisticated low-external-input methods can produce yields that are largely equivalent to those of conventional agriculture, even though limited investment has been made in these agro-ecological methods.'

Organic gardening is the time-honoured approach to working with Nature's intelligence. Some studies have shown that organic foods have much higher nutritional value than genetically modified and conventionally grown crops, which use pesticides and fertilizers.

Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture goes beyond the most rigorous existing standards for pure, organic food. It includes the understanding of how Nature functions, and how to align man's intelligence with Nature's intelligence to support health, happiness, and abundance.

Vedic Organic Agriculture is an important part of Maharishi's Programmes for creating a disease-free society, and eradicating poverty. Practices which are economically viable for farmers worldwide can supply the growing demand for pure, natural food.

Global Good News is the source for positive news and education pertaining to organic gardening, organic food, and the development of organic agriculture around the world.

See: www.mvoai.org

www.globalgoodnews.com/environmental-news.html



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