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Showing posts from May 3, 2014

Tales Of Bolivarian Inefficiency IV: Puerto Cabello’s Bermuda-like Triangle

May 3, 2014

One of the nice things about having faithful readers, is that I sort of get copies of videos, documents and papers (like this one) making sure that I seldom miss important stuff. Sure I get stuff twice or even more times, but it is an incredible source of information, so thank you all. Once in a while, readers write to tell me stories, many of which I would not know about in detail if it were not for them. Sometimes, these become a post. This is one of them.

Chavismo thinks that it can hide incompetence and inefficiency. But modern tools are pretty incredible. Chavismo also seems to believe that it can do anything, run any enterprise. Their infinite belief in the power of the State and their own ability is simply scary. Take imports. In its war against the private sector Chávez began importing stuff from all over, just to bypass the local private sector. In his mind, if there is no toilet paper, or corn, or wheat, it is just a matter of importing the stuff and magically, it …

India threatens WTO action over EU mango ban


India on Friday threatened to drag the European Union to the World Trade Organization over its ban on mango imports.

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma warned the EU's decision to slap the ban on import of the highly prized Alphonso mangoes, known as the "king of fruits", could have "very negative fallout" on trade ties.

Sharma said he had written to EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht urging him to overturn the "arbitrary" import ban on mangoes as well as four vegetables from India including bitter gourd and eggplant.

"We do hope that the EU will see sense,"
Sharma told reporters in New Delhi.

He urged the 28-nation EU not to "precipitate the situation any further, which would lead us to go to the WTO".

The Geneva-based WTO deals with trade disputes.

In March, the EU plant health care committee said it would impose the ban after finding pests in 207 Indian consignments of fruits and vegetables.

The EU said it was acti…



Soil as Carbon Storehouse:
New Weapon in Climate Fight?

The degradation of soils from unsustainable agriculture and other development has released billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. 

But new research shows how effective land restoration could play a major role in sequestering CO2 and slowing climate change.

by judith d. schwartz

In the 19th century, as land-hungry pioneers steered their wagon trains westward across the United States, they encountered a vast landscape of towering grasses that nurtured deep, fertile soils. 

Today, just three percent of North America’s tallgrass prairie remains. Its disappearance has had a dramatic impact on the landscape and ecology of the U.S., but a key consequence of that transformation has largely been overlooked: a massive loss of soil carbon into the atmosphere. 

The importance of soil carbon — how it is leached from the earth and how that process can be reversed — is the subject of intensifying scientific investigation…


Find Out Which Companies You Support When Buying Organic
Even if you avoid high-calorie, high fructose corn syrup–heavy foods, you might be paying the conglomerates that make them.


March 17, 2014 

By Willy Blackmore

Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor. He has written for The Awl, The New Inquiry, and elsewhere.
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So you and your family and friends have been buying organic food at the grocery store for several years now. 

When you’re at your parents’ house, suddenly you find organic kale in the fridge instead of canned green beans in the cupboard. 

Your sugar, flour, milk, and butter all bear the USDA’s seal certifying that they were produced in accordance with the federal organic standards.

You’re not alone! You and your health-conscious cohort are part of a near quadrupling of the organic food market that’s taken place over the past decade.

 In 2000, when the National Organic Program regulations were finalized, it represented $7.8 billion in annual sales; in 2…

Big Market For Philippine Mango

Phl eyes more mango exports to US

By Czeriza Valencia

(The Philippine Star) 

| Updated April 30, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines may soon ship to the United States fresh mangoes from others parts of the country other than Guimaras Island, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said yesterday.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) currently only allows the exportation of mangoes from Guimaras, an island municipality in Western Visayas.

Alcala said the export accreditation for Philippine mangoes is now being expanded to cover other mango-growing areas other than Guimaras.

He said the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements for Philippine mango exports have already been approved by the USDA. The Philippines, thus, is only waiting for the USDA to complete other regulatory requirements.

Mangoes grown in the island of Palawan, however, cannot be included for accreditation because of the prevailing pulp weevil infestation.

Production zones in the Philippines include Pangasi…