Government climbs down, but are food standards guaranteed?

Recently the government accepted changes to proposed legislation that may make it harder to sign trade deals that harm food and animal welfare standards. Many see it as step in the right direction in protecting the quality of the food on our plates and our farmers and follows rebellions – led in the Commons by senior Tory MP Neil Parish  the member for Tiverton and Honiton and in the Lords by crossbench peer Lord Curry – over claims that Ministers’ original plans for a temporary food commission were ‘toothless’.

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What planet are we on?

A series of podcasts available on BBC Sounds at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/brand/p08tdhyl. Really worth listening to, hosted by Liz Bonnin with Matt McGrath and Victoria Gill who are joined by different experts for each podcast.

In the first one Liz interviews David Attenborough who emphasizes our interconnectedness to nature, coming at this from various directions, including how human incursions into forests have very likely brought the Covid 19 virus into contact with humans, to how, during the lockdowns of 2020 we have shown how beneficial some green space is to human mental health.  David Attenborough concludes he is hopeful that we can do something about climate change.

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How our supermarkets can halve throwaway plastics

A new report from Greenpeace shows how the UK supermarkets could make significant reductions to the amount of plastic they produce by focusing their attention on the packaging for 54 grocery categories. ​The analysis also shows that ​changing the packaging for just 13 categories of popular groceries, like fizzy drinks, fruit and vegetables, and household detergents, supermarkets could reduce plastic by approximately 35%, remove 45 billion pieces of supermarket plastic, and more than 300,000 tonnes of plastic. This is the equivalent weight of 7,000 supermarket delivery lorries, that if lined up nose to tail could lead from Birmingham to Manchester.

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The US-UK trade deal – a Trojan horse for GMOs?

The UK is under immense pressure to sign up to US demands on the regulations applying to GMO (genetically modified organisms), as part of the US-UK trade deal writes Martin Brooks in the current edition of Yorkshire Bylines: https://yorkshirebylines.co.uk/the-gmo-lobbyist-will-see-you-now-minister/. One look at the USA’s commercial commitment to GMO tells you why.

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