The food price squeeze – what is to be done?

Barry White

A food charity which campaigns for a sustainable food system which delivers health and well-being for all has recently produced a 4 point plan for the cost of living crisis. With inflation running at 9.4% (consumer price index for June) and the rate is expected to rise past 13 % in the coming months, The Food Foundation’s (https://foodfoundation.org.uk/ ) plan is very timely.

It points out that food and non-alcoholic drinks prices rose by 6.7% between April 2021 and April 2022, while household food insecurity rates between October 2021 and April 2022 were 60% higher than during the first six months of the Covid pandemic.

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Action on food security and hedgerows

Cat Rowland CPRE Digital Engagement Officer

Research on food security by the CPRE, the countryside charity, finds that almost 14,500 hectares of England’s best agricultural land been lost to development since 2010 -that’s enough land to grow 250,000 tonnes of vegetables a year! They are calling on the government to introduce a land use strategy that protects prime farmland and safeguards food security. You can see more at: watch our video.

More at: https://www.cpre.org.uk/news/we-call-for-land-strategy-and-new-planning-rules-to-guard-food-security/

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Livestock, methane, and climate change: The politics of global assessments.

Ian Scoones (submitted by Melanie Fryer)

The relationship between livestock production and climate change is the subject of hot debate, with arguments for major shifts in diets and a reduction in livestock production. This Perspective examines how global assessments of livestock-derived methane emissions are framed, identifying assumptions and data gaps that influence standard life-cycle analysis approaches. These include inadequate data due to a focus on industrial not extensive systems; errors arising due to inappropriate emission factors being applied; questions of how global warming potentials are derived for different greenhouse gases and debates about what baselines are appropriate.

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UK government removes ‘barriers’ from GMO field trials

Pat Thomas and Lawrence Woodward Beyond GM

Last night (15 March 2022) the House of Lords voted through the Statutory Instrument (SI) which will remove restrictions from GMO field trials in England. This was the final hurdle and 21 days from now this change becomes law. The new regulation amends the UK’s Environmental Protection Act 1990 creating a regulatory exemption for field trials of GMOs that “could have occurred naturally” or been created through traditional breeding. It was voted through without much opposition and without any accompanying scientific guidance on how to determine if a GMO is “natural”. We are told this guidance will come at the end of April, however this will be non-statutory and, therefore, non-binding.

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