Agriculture, Beverages & Food

Anti-tobacco campaigners argue that profitable alternatives to tobacco exist but have received little attention. Through their development aid programmes, industrialised countries have helped developing countries to increase their output of tobacco, rather than help them switch to suitable alternatives. Through the imposition of structural adjustment programmes, the World Bank has encouraged governments to support farmers who grow crops for export. While the Bank no longer lends directly to tobacco production projects, its adjustment policies have encouraged additional output.
Saudi Star Agricultural Development plans to pump $100 million into a rice export project in Gambella region of Ethiopia despite allegations of human rights violations surrounding the "villagization" program under which the land has been taken from indigenous Anuak pastoralists to lease to foreign investors. 

Today the Albemarle Corporation is one of the top three producers of methyl bromide in the world. Founded in 1887 to produce blotting papers for fountain pens, Albemarle stayed a paper products company for many years.
The U.S. multinational Dow Chemical Company -- the new owner of Union Carbide of Bhopal notoriety -- is in Johannesburg to talk sustainable development. Also, in Johannesburg are representatives and supporters of the victims of Union Carbide's gas disaster in Bhopal. Since July 17, 2002, survivors of the world's worst industrial disaster and their supporters have been on a worldwide relay hunger strike. More than 700 people have fasted till date to protest against Dow-Carbide's refusal to acknowledge the pending liabilities in Bhopal, and against the Indian Government's betrayal of the victims merely to protect the interests of the U.S. multinational.
Hong Kong supermarkets have halted some vegetable sales amid a new food scare after pressure group Greenpeace accused grocery chains of selling produce tainted with dangerous levels of pesticides.
Peasant farmers from the northern Salvadoran province of Cabañas fear that mining operations planned for the region will consume 30,000 litres of water a day, drawn from the same sources that currently provide local residents with water only once a week.
The European Union is trying to regain the public's confidence in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by strengthening the laws that govern their release onto the market.
When United States negotiators fly into Thailand to thrash out a bilateral free trade deal next week, they will be greeted with jeers rather than this country's famed smile of welcome.
Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Tuesday he's confident the government's license application to build a nuclear waste dump in Nevada will "stand up to any challenge anywhere."
WASHINGTON (March 5, 2002) -- A dangerous killer who targets kids is on the loose, and he's got a new disguise. That's the premise of an animated ''e-movie'' that spoofs Philip Morris' proposed corporate name change to The Altria Group. The tobacco giant's shareholders will vote on the name change at their annual meeting April 25. Billed as ''the movie Philip Morris doesn't want you to see,'' the short animation was released today by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.