July 23, 2014

More Hidden Soy to Enter the Food Chain: Factory-farmed Fish Feed

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Health Impact News Editor Comments: Very few people understand just how much soy is in our modern diets. As this report states: “From 1996 to 2009, the sales of foods containing soy increased from approximately $1 billion to almost $4.5 billion.” Few people realize that factory-farmed livestock are dependent on soy as a source of cheap protein that promotes fast growth. Virtually no studies have been conducted on the effects all this soy has on the quality of these meats. Tropical Traditions is one of the few companies that worked with a poultry biologist at Ohio State University to determine that soy protein from chicken feed is passed into egg yolks and chicken tissue. (See: Soy protein present in egg yolks and chicken tissues) Thus, people looking to avoid soy in their diet are consuming it in foods where it is not listed as an ingredient. Now, the soybean industry is venturing into a new market: factory farmed fish.

Factory-Fed Fish: How the Soy Industry Is Expanding Into the Sea

by Food and Water Watch

In 2010, the CEO of the American Soy Association reported that the organization has been closely monitoring progress in the development of offshore fish farming legislation and meeting with congres­sional staff on the topic. In March 2011, it endorsed a controversial plan that would allow such fish farming or “aquaculture” in the Gulf of Mexico. In September 2011, a press release was issued announcing a new marine fish farm project that would “revolutionize sustainable agriculture.” The source of the release? The Illinois Soybean Association.

Why are trade associations for an agricultural commodity that is grown on land involved in policies and marketing that affect the use and stewardship of our oceans?

Seafood is one of our last wild food sources. Fish are a vital part of many people’s diets because of poten­tial health benefits, fresh taste and the connection that fish give us to our oceans and coasts. Around half of the world’s seafood, however, now comes from farms rather than from the wild. In some of these farms, fish are grown in crowded, polluting cages and may be fattened on commercially prepared diets.

Feed has been one of the aquaculture industry’s greatest challenges. Many of the species grown by the ocean finfish industry are highly valued carnivorous fish, which have typically been fed diets consisting of fishmeal and oil made from smaller, wild fish. The excessive use of wild fish to grow farmed fish can make aquaculture inefficient. Further, aquaculture has been accused of spurring the depletion of these small fish, which is problematic not only for their own populations, but also to the other animals that rely on them for food.

With little public scrutiny, soy has been hailed by some as a sustainable alternative to feed based on wild fish, thus supposedly solving some of the fish farming industry’s sustainability problems.

In this report, the first to address the relationship between the soy and factory fish farming industries, Food & Water Watch reveals that, while the soy industry stands to make large profits from the expan­sion of factory fish farming, there is no guarantee that soy-based aquaculture feed can consistently produce healthy fish or promote ecological respon­sibility. In fact, by causing fish to produce excess waste, soy could lead to an even more polluting fish farming industry.

By supporting factory fish farming, the soy industry could not only help to expand an industry that degrades marine environments, threatens wild fish populations and damages coastal communities, it could also extend its own negative impacts. Already, industrial soy production has led to the prevalence of genetically modified crops on U .S. farmland and in consumer food-products, caused massive deforestation in South America and displaced indigenous communities living in areas now used to grow soy.

Rather than actually promoting sustainability in a developing industry, the involvement of soy associa­tions in aquaculture could spur the growth of two industries that have extremely negative impacts on our land, our oceans and the communities that depend on them.

Read the Full Report

Excerpts:

As soy becomes increasingly ubiquitous in our diets — in processed foods and the meat from animals that have been raised on it — we must ask what health impacts this high level of soy consumption may have on us. Scientists are beginning to question claims about the benefits of eating soy and to suggest that the plant-based estrogens that occur naturally in soy, many of which are endocrine disruptors, could potentially have adverse impacts. In light of these concerns and unanswered questions, it is troubling to know that much of our fish — one of our last wild foods — could be fattened on this crop.

Further, a large-scale offshore fish farming industry could cause major environmental damage . Placing fish farms in the open ocean has been pitched as a way to minimize pollution by diluting or dispersing waste. There is not enough information available yet to know what the long-term effects of these farms will be, and research from Italy indicates that pollution from offshore farms “may affect the marine ecosystem well beyond the local scale.” The ecosystems around farms could also be disrupted by chemicals and drugs used on farms, potentially leading to negative health consequences for people . One study found that the use of antimicrobials on fish farms can lead to the development of drug-resistant genes in fish pathogens — genes that could be transferred to bacteria that infect humans. This could make human illnesses more difficult to treat.

Read the Full Report

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Michigan Officials Seize Private Food from Family Co-op

Michigan Officials Seize Private Food from Family Co-op

David Gumpert is reporting that agents from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development pulled over the My Family Co-op’s refrigerated truck this week, and placed a seizure order on their private food which was being delivered to food club members. My Family Co-op operates a “herd-share” program that allows private club members to contract with them and share in the ownership of their farm operations to produce and deliver farm-fresh food.

These types of private food clubs are popping up all over the country, bypassing the commercial retail distribution of commodity food found in grocery stores. Big Ag, Big Dairy, and others are obviously opposed to such systems that allow farmers to sell directly to consumers, and use government regulations to go after peaceful farm operations trying to produce healthy food for those who want to bypass the commodity processed food market.

David Gumpert, however, brings up a good point in explaining that most ag inspectors that try to seize private food really have no police powers, and can be resisted. Some food clubs have successfully resisted some seizures, forcing government officials to get court sanctioned orders that can be enforced by law enforcement officials. They key is to know your rights and not be intimidated, and David Gumpert posted on his blog:

SIX WAYS TO PUT A STOP TO GOVERNMENT SEIZURES OF PRIVATELY-OWNED FOOD

Genetically “Tweaked” Chickens Suffer from Lack of Fertility: Is the End of Commercial Poultry Near?

Genetically “Tweaked” Chickens Suffer from Lack of Fertility: Is the End of Commercial Poultry Near?

A Reuter’s story this week is reporting that the world’s largest chicken breeder is suffering from rooster infertility due to genetic manipulation. The popular Ross male breed of roosters is used to produce as much as 25 percent of the nation’s chickens raised for meat (broilers). As a result, chicken production is down, and prices will continue to rise.

So what are these “genetic manipulations” causing these problems? There is supposedly no GMO chicken in the market, but chicken genome has been mapped since 2004. Has the public actually been eating GMO chicken for some time now? What is the future of the commercial poultry industry and their factory birds?

Is Glyphosate Responsible for your Health Problems?

Is Glyphosate Responsible for your Health Problems?

The use of Roundup and other related glyphosate-based formulas threaten human health. The widespread use of these toxic substances can be directly linked to dozens of degenerative and life threatening diseases. They are causing infertility, birth defects, and the death of unborn children. The effects are multigenerational. People who eat glyphosate contaminated food will produce children who are predisposed to many types of digestive dysfunctions, that is, if such couples are even able to conceive children.

We know for certain that glyphosate is toxic to human health. Of course, the chemical companies, the U.S. government, and agribusiness don’t agree. In the matter of food toxicity, we cannot depend upon government agencies to protect our health. The United States is rapidly going bankrupt, because of ballooning healthcare expenditures. As Americans, we are sick and getting sicker. The grand experiment which set out to feed us a low-fat high-carbohydrate diet is killing us. The grand experiment that uses fear to get people to take dozens of vaccines is destroying our immune systems. Glyphosate is adding its toxic burden to these other experiments by creating a food supply that is loaded with disease causing toxic chemicals.

Clearly the grand experiment on the entire U.S. population involving Roundup and GMO food is failing miserably. Nevertheless, chemical companies and manufacturers of genetically altered seed keep on pressing forward to invent even more toxic chemicals for their ever increasing number of modified seeds.

Study: Indiana Corn Pesticides Linked to Autism

Study: Indiana Corn Pesticides Linked to Autism

  Investigation: Indiana corn pesticides linked to autism By Alexis Gray Fox28 Excerpts: ELKHART – A recent UC Davis study found pregnant women living within a mile of  fields were pesticides were sprayed were 60 percent likelier to have a child with autism. Since that study was published, director of Notre Dame autism research lab

Spokane City Council to Ban Neonicotinoid Insecticides to Protect Honey Bees

Spokane City Council to Ban Neonicotinoid Insecticides to Protect Honey Bees

The same Spokane City Council that legalized the raising of small farm animals in March is now taking aim at protecting honeybees.

Council President Ben Stuckart has introduced an ordinance that would ban city purchase and use of a relatively new class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids. Research is showing that those chemicals, sold as a series of products, may be harmful to honeybees.

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