Alternative Agriculture News
Henry A. Wallace Center for Agricultural & Environmental Policy at Winrock
9200 Edmonston Road, #117
Greenbelt, MD 20770
Voice (301) 441-8777, Fax (301)220-0164
Web site: www.hawiaa.org
* * *
If You Are Interested in Sustainable Agriculture...
In addition to this monthly newsletter, the Henry A. Wallace Center for
Agricultural & Environmental Policy at Winrock International publishes the
American Journal of Alternative Agriculture, a quarterly, peer-reviewed
journal of research on alternative agriculture. It is a scientific forum
for disseminating technical, economic, and social research findings about
the character and requirements of alternative agriculture systems.
The development of more effective conservation farming systems through
participatory on-farm research is examined in the first article of the new
issue of American Journal of Alternative Agriculture (Volume 14, No. 3).
Other articles cover supplementation of mid- gestation swine grazing
alfalfa; crop-yield and economic comparisons of organic, low-input, and
conventional farming systems in California's Sacramento Valley; comparison
of organic and conventional dairy farms in Ontario; global land resources
and population-supporting capacity; and organic farming in Austria.
For U.S. subscribers, one volume (four issues) costs US$44 for libraries,
US$24 for individuals, and US$12 for students; foreign rates are also
available. For more information, contact the Wallace Center, 9200 Edmonston
Road, #117, Greenbelt, MD 20770; (301) 441- 8777; e-mail
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
New Wallace Center Created at Winrock International, p. 1
Anti-Biotech Forces Start to Receive "Serious" Foundation Money, p. 3
"Brand Name Product List" Now Available from OMRI, p. 3
Positions, p. 3
Study Links Chemicals and Pancreatic Cancer, p. 4
Monsanto Sued Over Genetically Engineered Seeds, p. 4
Resources, p. 4
Upcoming Events, p. 5
NEW WALLACE CENTER CREATED AT WINROCK INTERNATIONAL
The Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture has become the
Henry A. Wallace Center for Agricultural & Environmental Policy at Winrock
International. Founded in 1983 and named after Henry A. Wallace, former
Secretary of Agriculture and U.S. Vice President during the Franklin D.
Roosevelt administration, the Wallace Institute has been instrumental in
defining alternative agriculture in the United States. Winrock
International is a private, nonprofit organization that works with people
around the world to increase economic opportunity, sustain natural
resources, and protect the environment. Based at Morrilton, Arkansas,
Winrock offices are located in Arlington, Virginia; Salvador, Brazil;
Beijing, China; New Delhi, India; and Manila, Philippines.
As a voice for alternative agriculture in Washington, DC, the Wallace
Institute has provided strong leadership, sound policy research, scientific
analysis, and reliable information for the sustainable agriculture
movement. It has influenced national agricultural policy and has worked
with government agencies, educational and research institutions, producer
groups, farmers, scientists, advocates, and other organizations that
provide research, education, and information services.
"Winrock International has long sought to increase its capabilities in
policy research and analysis to strengthen our programs in agriculture and
natural resource management," commented Frank Tugwell, Winrock president
and chief executive officer. "With creation of the Wallace Center, we will
be able to address both domestic and international policy issues, and
tackle some of the complex challenges that face agriculture and development
around the world. Our shared desire to help people and do so in sustainable
ways makes the two organizations a good fit."
Kate Clancy, director of the Wallace Institute's Agriculture Policy
Project, is the new director of the Wallace Center at Winrock. Former
Executive Director Garth Youngberg will continue to assist the Center on a
part-time basis. Wallace Institute Board Chair, Dr. Cornelia Butler Flora,
has been elected to Winrock International's Board of Directors. The Wallace
Center will relocate from Maryland to Winrock's Arlington, Virginia,
offices by mid-spring. The 10- member staff will continue its ongoing
projects and will participate in the development of new programs at
Winrock: Kate Clancy, Chantal Line Carpentier, Suzanne DeMuth, David Ervin,
Elizabeth Higgins, Joanna Hildebrand, Lydia Oberholtzer, Nessa Richman,
Rick Welsh, and Garth Youngberg.
The Wallace Center will maintain its policy analysis programs and will
continue to publish Alternative Agriculture News, a monthly newsletter
covering policy and scientific developments and activities in the
alternative agriculture community, and the quarterly American Journal of
Alternative Agriculture, a peer-reviewed, scientific journal on alternative
Winrock International matches innovative approaches in agriculture,
natural resources management, clean energy, and leadership development with
the unique needs of its partners. By linking local individuals and
communities with new ideas and technology, Winrock is increasing long-term
productivity, equity, and responsible resource management to benefit the
poor and disadvantaged of the world.
Winrock International staff implement projects in 40 countries, including
the United States, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Eastern
Europe, and the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union.
Activities are funded by grants, contracts, and contributions from public
and private sources.
ANTI-BIOTECH FORCES START TO RECEIVE "SERIOUS" FOUNDATION MONEY
"Serious money is starting to flow to the anti-biotech movement in the
U.S., even amid debate over whether the opposition is mostly about a
scientific threat, an aversion to big business or a wariness of the
unknown," according to The Wall Street Journal (December 14, 1999).
Although opposition to genetically engineered food has been primarily
concentrated in Europe, "demonstrations at the World Trade Organization
forum in Seattle and elsewhere showed [that] the issue . . . is capable of
arousing an emotional response in the U.S. too," the article said. "The
funds to attack bioengineered food, as well as biotechnology in general,
are still coming in fitfully and are modest compared with the millions of
dollars producers of genetically modified seeds have pledged for their own
public relations offensive. But what is striking is the number and nature
of the donors that have begun to take notice and dive in---from Ms.
[Elizabeth] Wilcox's small Common Counsel fund to the mighty Rockefeller
According to the article, Rockefeller Foundation President Gordon Conway
says he is earmarking $3 million for a new effort that will, pending board
approval, include "funding a mediation and conflict-resolution firm to
study how warring factions can be brought together; funding consumer
activists who want strict labeling of products containing genetically
modified ingredients; supporting bioethicists to study the ethical
implications of bioengineered food (as well as other biotech issues such as
cloning); and sponsoring a global 'dialogue' about genetically modified
food geared mainly toward giving the opposition a public forum."
"BRAND NAME PRODUCT LIST" NOW AVAILABLE FROM OMRI
The Organic Materials Review Institute has made available its "Brand Name
Product List," which represents OMRI's recommendations and opinions
regarding the acceptability or unacceptability of products used in organic
production, processing, and handling. Manufacturers may apply to have their
brand name products reviewed by OMRI's technical staff, after which a
review panel of experts votes on the product's status. Also available are
16 Technical Advisory Panel reviews that were conducted for the U.S.
National Organic Standards Board, against criteria approved by the NOSB.
The Brand Name Product List and the reviews are available on the Internet
Community Alliance with Family Farmers in Davis, CA, seeks a Program
Director; for application, call (530) 756-8518, ext. 10, or e-mail
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York Certification Program
seeks a Dairy/Livestock Coordinator; contact Patricia Kane, NOFA-NY Organic
Certification Program, 26 Towpath Rd., Binghamton, NY 13904; (607) 724-9851.
Michigan State University's Department of Sociology, East Lansing, MI,
seeks a full professor in the social scientific aspects of microbial risk
analysis and the food safety system; for application, call the department
at (517) 355-6641.
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center seeks a Post-Doctoral
Fellow for its Natural Resources Group in Morelia, Mexico, on maize
cropping systems that feature conservation tillage and cover crops; more
information is available on the Internet at www.cimmyt.cgiar.org or
www.cgiar.org, or from Dr. Bernard Triomphe at the Center,
STUDY LINKS CHEMICALS AND PANCREATIC CANCER
A new report published in the scientific journal The Lancet (December 18,
1999) suggests a link between exposure to organochlorine compounds, which
have been used in pesticides, and cancer of the pancreas. Researchers
investigated the link between concentrations of the most common
organochlorines, such as DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and
mutations of the pancreatic cancer gene in patients with pancreatic cancer.
They found that patients with high concentrations of DDT and three major
PCBs were over five times more likely to have a mutation of the pancreatic
cancer gene than patients with low levels. "The Lancet article provides the
first link between the most common genetic alteration in pancreatic cancer
and an environmental substance," according to the journal. According to one
of the researchers, Miquel Porta, "Although the results require
replication, and do not prove a direct causal link between the chemicals
and the mutation, they suggest new roles for organochlorines in the
development of cancers in human beings." More information is available on
the Internet at www.thelancet.com.
MONSANTO SUED OVER GENETICALLY ENGINEERED SEEDS
Anti-trust lawyers last month filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of
six farmers against the Monsanto Company, accusing it of "rushing
genetically engineered seeds to the marketplace without properly testing
them for safety and of forming an international cartel that conspired to
control the world's market in corn and soybean seeds," according to The New
York Times (December 15, 1999). The suit "contends that Monsanto is at the
hub of an international conspiracy to control a large part of the world's
seed supply" and "accused Monsanto of giving farmers false and fraudulent
guarantees about the safety and marketability of a new breed of bio-
engineered seeds," the Times article said. According to The Washington
Post, "the 55-page complaint claims that St. Louis-based Monsanto defrauded
farmers when it told them the seeds were safe and that the public would
accept genetically modified crops because--according to the plaintiffs--the
company should have known that no nation's standards of testing are
adequate to guarantee such safety."
"Inventory of Technical and Institutional Resources for Promoting Methyl
Bromide Alternatives" is available from Pesticide Action Network North
America, 49 Powell St., #500, San Francisco, CA 94102; (415) 981-1771;
"Tracking Progress: Alternatives to Pesticides on the Farm" is available
from Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, (541) 344-5044, or
on the Internet at www.pesticide.org/FarmerRptRelease.html.
"Distribution of Major Herbicides in Ground Water of the United States"
and "Pesticides in Streams of the United States--Initial Results from the
National Water-Quality Assessment Program" are available from the U.S.
Geological Survey, Branch of Information Services, Box 25286, Denver, CO
"Greenbook '99: A Decade of Tools" is available from Minnesota Dept. of
Agriculture, Energy and Sustainable Agriculture Program, 90 West Plato
Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55107; (651) 296-7673.
"Corporate Hogs at the Public Trough" is available from Sierra Club, 85
Second St., San Francisco, CA 94105; (415) 977-5500.
"Conservation Farming in the United States: The Methods and
Accomplishments of the STEEP Program" can be ordered from CRC Press LLC,
2000 Corporate Blvd., NW, Boca Raton, FL 33431; 1-800-272-7737;
"Poultry Waste Management Handbook" is $16 plus $3.75 shipping from
Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service, 152 Riley-Robb
Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853; (607) 255-7654.
January 29-30, the 18th Annual Conference of Northeast Organic Farming
Association of New York, will be held in Troy, NY; contact Tammy Hinman,
NOFA-NY, RR#1, Box 232, Hamilton, NY 13346; (315) 824-2864;
February 1-3, "Dairy Housing and Equipment Systems; Managing and Planning
for Profitability" will be held in Camp Hill, PA; contact Natural Resource,
Agriculture, and Engineering Service, 152 Riley-Robb Hall, Ithaca, NY
14853; (607) 255-7654; email@example.com.
February 4-5, "Reclaiming the PASAbilities," the 9th Annual Farming for
the Future Conference, will be held in State College, PA; contact
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, P.O. Box 419,
Millheim, PA 16854.
February 5, "Profitable Alternatives in Agriculture" will be held in
Wilmington, OH; contact Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, P.O. Box
82234, Columbus, OH 43202; (614) 267-3663.
February 8-9, "Future Farms: New Ideas for Family Farms and Rural
Communities" will be held in Oklahoma City, OK; contact Liz Speake, Kerr
Center for Sustainable Agriculture, P.O. Box 588, Poteau, OK 74953; (918)
February 15-19, advanced organic and biodynamic vegetable production
workshops will be held in Indianola, IA; contact Michael Fields
Agricultural Institute, (262) 642-3303.
February 17-20, "Bio Fach," the World Organic Trade Fair, will be held in
Nuremburg, Germany; contact Okowelt, Industriestr. 12, D-91186 Buchenbach,
February 19, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont's Annual
Winter Conference will be held in Randolph, VT; contact NOFA-VT, P.O. Box
697, Richmond, VT 05477; (802) 434-4122.
February 22, "Organic Agriculture: Growth of Global Markets and Directions
for Research" will be part of the Annual Meeting of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC; contact AAAS,
(202) 326-6450; on the Internet, www.aaas.org/meetings/2000.
February 22-23, "Conservation 2000: Research and Education for a Viable
Agriculture Conference" and the Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Society's
Annual Meeting will be held in Springfield, IL; contact ISAS, 985 W.
Pershing Rd. Ste. E-4, Decatur, IL 62526; (217) 877-5670, ext. 115.
February 23, Soil Fertility and Pest Management Conference will be held in
Merced, CA; contact Jo Ann Baumgartner, Committee for Sustainable
Agriculture, (831) 763-2111.
February 24-25, "Agricultural Outlook Forum 2000" will be held in
Arlington, VA; contact the USDA at (202) 720-3050; firstname.lastname@example.org; on
the Internet, www.usda.gov/oce.
February 26-27, National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture's 3rd Annual
Meeting will be held in Washington, DC; contact the Campaign, P.O. Box 396,
Pine Bush, NY 12566; (914) 744-8448; Campaign@magiccarpet.com.
March 7-9, 2000, Western Region SARE Conference, "Farming and Ranching for
Profit, Stewardship and Community," will be held in Portland, OR; contact
Gina Hashagen, Oregon State University, (541) 737-5477;
email@example.com; on the Internet, wsare.usu.edu/2000.
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