Agriculture, Beverages & Food

India said on Wednesday it had allowed production of three genetically modified cotton hybrids by a private company which has U.S. biotechnology giant Monsanto as its partner
China won't sacrifice income support for farmers in talks this week to join the World Trade Organization, officials and analysts said yesterday.
While it doesn't sound (and need not be) nefarious, activist groups worldwide like the Rainforest Action Network argue that the production of palm oil is currently harming rain forests in Southeast Asia, orangutans, and the environment.
BOSTON -- In a letter sent to Bill and Melinda Gates today, the national corporate accountability organization Infact urged the couple to help end Philip Morris's involvement in the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Today, the Gates Foundation is announcing the launch of the new alliance, which includes Kraft Foods as well as UN agencies, to increase access to nutrient-fortified foods in developing countries. Kraft is a subsidiary of Philip Morris, the world's largest and most profitable tobacco corporation. The tobacco giant has been exposed for using its Kraft Foods division in efforts to undermine the World Health Organization-initiated Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a global treaty. Infact is one of dozens of NGOs around the world working to ensure a strong and enforceable FCTC.
Miguel Facussé, the owner of Dinant Corporation in the Honduras, has come under scrutiny for the human rights abuses against farmers in the Bajo Aguán valley, where his company is cashing in on a boom in palm oil demand, fueled by loans from major donors like the World Bank.
The controversy over genetically engineered crops is disrupting U.S. efforts to provide food aid to starving people. The government of Zimbabwe and citizens groups in Bolivia, Guatemala and Nicaragua are resisting U.S. supplied foods that contain transgenic corn, or maize. Citizen's groups say the GMO crops are not proven safe.
Colombian officials said over the weekend that they would consider seeking the extradition of senior executives of Chiquita Brands International after the company pleaded guilty in United States federal court to making payments to paramilitary death squads.
The International Labor Rights Fund has filed suit in US federal court on behalf of 10,000 Ecuadorian peasant farmers and Amazonian Indians charging DynCorp with torture, infanticide and wrongful death for its role in the aerial spraying of highly toxic pesticides in the Amazonian jungle, along the border of Ecuador and Colombia.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), is targeting African policy-makers, to counter the intensified marketing campaigns by tobacco multinationals in the continent.
The European Food Safety Authority has approved new rules that will ban industry experts from serving on EFSA scientific panels related to their work. Corporate Europe Observatory says the rules are still not strong enough