Agriculture, Beverages & Food

NEW YORK - A group of socially responsible investment funds, with assets valued at $13 billion, are urging Dow Chemical Company to address ongoing economic, health and environmental liabilities stemming from a poisonous gas leak in Bhopal, India, which has killed and injured tens of thousands of people to date. The investors, Trillium Asset Management, Domini Social Investments, Calvert Group and others, sent a letter to Dow"s CEO Michael Parker and board Chair William Stavropoulos, calling on them to "continue dialogue with representatives of Bhopal citizens groups, to take their claims seriously, and to work towards a mutually acceptable solution."
Despite fears of violence in the streets, an estimated 2,500 chanting, costumed demonstrators kept their promise to march peacefully through the Back Bay yesterday as they voiced their opposition to the spread of biotechnology.
Newmont Mining agreed Thursday to pay $30 million to Indonesia in a settlement of a civil lawsuit in which the government argued that the company had polluted a bay with arsenic and mercury.
The tobacco industry exerted pressure in Switzerland throughout recent decades to prevent the approval of stricter measures against smoking, says a study sponsored by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
A subsidiary of Herakles Capital, a New York based investment firm, has decided to cancel its application to join the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) after environmental groups alleged that its 73,086 hectare project in southwestern Cameroon would threaten the sustainability of the local community.
The European Patent Office is currently considering an application by crop science giant Syngenta to control the DNA that regulates the way flowers grow in rice plants.
The Biosafety Protocol has finally been adopted in the hope that it will bring some transparency into the trade in genetically-modified products. But some say it is weak and watered down to suit US interests.
Today, Oxfam America, in collaboration with the Global Mining Campaign, launches a new, international, online popular action to support the local people of Tambogrande, a small agricultural town in Peru, in their ongoing struggle against a proposed mining project. The campaign asks individuals around the globe to tell the mining company, Manhattan Minerals, to respect the local people's way of life. To join the online action, visit www.OxfamAmerica.org. For information on the Global Mining Campaign, see www.GlobalMiningCampaign.org.
Government representatives began discussions Monday in Geneva on a proposed anti-tobacco treaty for preventing smoking-related deaths, which are predicted to reach 10 million annually by 2030.
Karuturi Global and Saudi Star have leased thousands of hectares of land from the Ethiopian government for agricultural development. Critics says these projects have displaced traditional farmers and subsistence crops.